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‘I Like How You Think’: Similarity as an Interaction Bias in the Investor–Entrepreneur Dyad

2011

Murnieks, Charles Y. Michael Haynie Rob Wiltbank Troy Harting

Investigating the factors that influence venture capital decision-making has a long tradition in the management and entrepreneurship literatures. However, few studies have considered the factors that might bias an investment decision in a way that is idiosyncratic to a given investor–entrepreneur dyad. We do so in this study. Specifically, we build from the literature on the ‘similarity effect’ to investigate the extent to which decision-making process similarity (shared between the investor and the entrepreneur) might bias or otherwise impact the investor’s evaluation of a new venture investment opportunity. Our findings suggest venture capitalists evaluate more favourably opportunities represented by entrepreneurs who ‘think’ in ways similar to their own. Moreover, in the presence of decision-making process similarity, the impacts of other factors that inform the investment decision actually change in counter-intuitive ways.

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