Venture Capital Decision-Making and the Cultures of Risk: An Application of Q Methodology to US and UK Innovation Clusters
Competition and Change, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 329-356, November 2005
28 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2009
Date Written: November 1, 2005
This paper presents a comparative perspective on risk perception and decision-making within United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) entrepreneurial communities since the bursting of the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) bubble in 2000. Using an empirical approach drawn from political science literature, this paper relies upon interviews and Q (rather than R) methodology to analyze the experiences and insights of individuals throughout innovation investment communities, including entrepreneurs, investment angels, venture capitalists, and institutional investors. This study sheds light on post-boom behavioral trends and risk propensities, in relation to actors' interrelated decision-making processes. From decision-makers' reported and ranked perceptions, factor analysis in conjunction with additional contextual evidence was used to identify four influential groups of individuals with shared approaches to early-stage innovation investment: American-style managers, junior venture professionals, experienced angel investors, and committed business builders. From this study of the social and economic geography of American and British innovation communities, implications are drawn for understanding the effectiveness of staged-funding networks in the innovation process and subsequently for community and economic development. Furthermore, this analysis represents a foray into application of Q methodology to the study of economic geography generally and innovation clusters specifically.
Keywords: angel investment, decision-making, entrepreneurship, financial geography, Q methodology, venture capital
JEL Classification: D82, G24, L14, O30
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