Examining the control-trust nexus in new venture teamwork
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Trust is seen as an essential aspect of a founding team’s internal relationships. Positive association between intra-team trust and team effectiveness is recognized in literature. Trust and control are commonly considered either substituting or complementary phenomena with many scholars arguing that when trust is high the need for control is low and when trust is low the need for control is high. While scholars aim to address the role of trust in entrepreneurship, the relationship between trust and control and the impact on interdependency between founding team members in early stage new venture teamwork is largely unexplored. This paper investigates how new venture teams promote trust and control behavior as their venture emerges, utilizing group norms as a basis for empirical investigation. We examine the relationship between intra-team trust development and control mechanisms in 56 new venture teams, based on documentation and participant observation, utilizing a framework to analyze written norms for trusting or controlling language. Findings show that venture teams are primed for control rather than trust in the early stages of venture creation, and ventures with more controlling norms, were seen to be less viable long-term.