Trust between entrepreneurs and external actors : Sensemaking in organising new business ventures
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with trust for new business ventures. In the literature trust is seen as important for successful establishment of the new venture, but the issue has been neglected so far regarding indepth empirical studies covering the business start and the first few years. The main purpose of this thesis is to contribute to theory of role and function of trust in business start-up and early developmentin action processes between entrepreneurs and external actors, i.e. customer, supplier, financer and business start advisor. The main empirical base consists of two new ventures and six relationships withexternal actors. The study covers five years from the start of the new ventures. Major findings from the study are that external actors' trust in the new venture is based on the entrepreneur as a person,on the enterprise and on institution-based meanings. In action processes over time the entrepreneur tried first to use or build person-based trustworthiness and then to build enterprise-basedtrustworthiness. Institution-based trustworthiness could be important in either of two ways: As a prerequisite to the relationship or as a result of interaction, then strengthening the relationship. Sequences of trust-building and use of built trustworthiness in action processeswere found. Furthermore, intermediaries: persons, organisations or objects assumed to carry trust in the eyes of external actors, were by the entrepreneurs enacted to promote the external actors' trust forthe entrepreneur and the enterprise. Different promotional trust-building strategies, seen as interpretive schemes, were also studied. The main theoretical contribution to theory is a taxonomy concerning new venture trust. It also points at a methodology for empirical studies of action processes over time.
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