Emotional Assuring, Trust Building, and Resource Mobilization in Start-Up Organizations
41 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009
Date Written: October 1, 2009
Based on a five-year field study of six new ventures, we investigate whether and how organization founders use affective influence, a form of emotion management, with diverse stakeholders, specifically investors, board members, customers and employees. We observed wide differences in founders' propensity to use affective influence actions and found that not all affective influence actions were effective in mobilizing resources for the new firm. We identified a particular form of beneficial affective influence that we call "emotional assuring", consisting of affective influence actions aimed at building three dimensions of trust in regard to the new firm: 1) the firm's integrity; 2) the founder's competence as an entrepreneur, and 3) the founder's benevolent character. Although firms that practiced little emotional assuring were able to mobilize adequate resources, just like firms that did so in munificent environments, the latter gained the upper hand and were more resilient in tough economic conditions. We also identified the moderating conditions and limitations of emotional assuring.
Keywords: Affective influence, emotional assuring, emotion, entrepreneurship, organization creation, resource mobilization, trust.
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