Change in inter-organizational relationship portfolios and social networks in the context of corporate venturing

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Corporate venture capital refers to the phenomenon where large firms invest in young, entrepreneurial ventures, known as startups. Many of these collaborations take place in syndicates with independent investors, known as venture capitalists. These relationships are essential to the success of the investor and startup alike. However, these relationships are not necessarily stable; old relationships end, new relationships are formed, and existing ties are modified. In this dissertation, I study the antecedents and consequences of such change in inter-organizational networks through three interlinked studies.
In my first study, I examine the dual organizational outcomes to corporate venturing through meta-analytic techniques. I show that the degree in which a firm engages in corporate venturing is linked to its portfolio strategies, and that these portfolio strategies have differential effects on financial and innovation performance. Therefore, firms should carefully consider the intended outcome to its corporate venturing activities in choosing a strategy. In my second study, I examine how accusations of misconduct may act as an antecedent to network change. Specifically, I argue that when a firm is the defendant in an intellectual property-related lawsuit, this has a negative effect on its network. However, we also show that there are significant boundary conditions to this relationship. I use Expectancy Violations Theory and argue that whether a firm’s network position declines after an accusation depends on whether this accusation is in line with the expectations that potential partners have about the firm. Therefore, we find that firms with a track record of accusations are less affected, as well as firms with a more stable position within the network. In my third study, I examine the consequences of change in inter-organizational networks. I argue that while a certain degree of turnover in a firm’s network can be positive, too much turnover is as bad as too little. Moreover, I find that this affect is dependent on the network centrality and relational embeddedness of the network partners that are ‘lost’.
All in all, I contribute to research on corporate venturing and venture capital, change in social networks, and the dark side of inter-organizational relationships. I hope my work will help academics consider the conditions under which accusations of misconduct change a firm’s network, as well as the consequences of such change. Moreover, I believe my research can inform managers on how to manage change in inter-organizational relationships and create the right networking strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • van de Vrande, Vareska, Supervisor
  • Jansen, Justin, Supervisor
  • Heugens, Pursey, Supervisor
Award date29 May 2024
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Print ISBNs978-90-5892-698-2
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2024


  • ERIM PhD Series Research in Management


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