Entrepreneurs’ responses to feedback are in part determined by how the interactions during which they receive it unfold. Prior studies primarily discuss feedback interactions between entrepreneurs and their mentors or trusted advisors. As a result of this focus on longstanding relationships, there is limited knowledge of ‘early’ meetings – conversations between feedback providers and entrepreneurs who do not know each other well – and the ways in which these shape the relationship between the interactants, as well as the way feedback is received. Our analysis of 54 early feedback interactions suggests that changes in epistemic stance and alignment influence whether there is affiliation, that is, affective cooperation, between entrepreneurs and feedback providers. We theorize that affiliation is necessary for early feedback interactions to develop into longstanding feedback relationships.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
First of all, we would like to express our gratitude to Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback on earlier versions of this paper. We are also grateful to Sebastien Mena for enabling us to hire research assistants, and would like to thank Umadevi Dassaye, Anastasia Vikhanova and Peter Wondergem for their help in transcribing and analysing our data. Finally, we highly appreciate the feedback we received during iShare at Bayes Business School.
© 2022 The Authors. British Journal of Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Academy of Management.