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Handbook of Research on Venture Capital

Edited by Hans Landström

This Handbook provides an excellent overview of our knowledge on the various facets of managerial venture capital research. The book opens with a thorough survey of venture capital as a research field; conceptual, theoretical and geographic aspects are explored, and its pioneers revisited. The focus then shifts to the specific environs of venture capital.
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Chapter 2: Conceptual and Theoretical Reflections on Venture Capital Research

Harry J. Sapienza and Jaume Villanueva


2 Conceptual and theoretical reflections on venture capital research Harry J. Sapienza and Jaume Villanueva Introduction Entrepreneurship and early venture capital literature As indicated in Chapter 1 the research on venture capital1 dates back at least to the late 1960s (for example Briskman, 1966; Aggarwal, 1973; Wells, 1974; Poindexter, 1976) when the industry itself was in its infancy. Whereas these early studies in venture capital tended to focus on the efficiency of venture capital as an investment vehicle or on the decision criteria used by venture capitalists to assess entrepreneurs and opportunities, other areas of the more general entrepreneurship literature focused on the nature of the entrepreneur and on conditions of founding. Thus, early on, venture capital research contributed primarily in the areas of economic implications of this ‘new’ organizational entity (venture capital) as a financing tool. In truth, the entire field of management or business ‘science’ itself was just forming. Whereas the field of economics was comparatively well-developed, the examination and study of business organizations as atomistic entities worthy of study in their own right was just emerging. Through the 1980s and into the early 1990s, interest in venture capital and its unique problems and contributions expanded. For entrepreneurship research in general, the decade began with a focus on the entrepreneur and ended with a focus on the entrepreneurial process of new venture creation. Venture capital research complemented this development by beginning to unravel the mysteries of the venture capitalist–entrepreneur dyad in this process of venture...

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