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The relational dimension of feedback interactions: A study of early feedback meetings between entrepreneurs and potential mentors

van Werven, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-9336-0069, Cornelissen, J. & Bouwmeester, O. (2022). The relational dimension of feedback interactions: A study of early feedback meetings between entrepreneurs and potential mentors. British Journal of Management, 34(2), pp. 873-897. doi: 10.1111/1467-8551.12615


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. Due to 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, i.e., affective cooperation, between entrepreneurs and feedback providers. We theorise that affiliation is necessary for early feedback interactions to develop into longstanding feedback relationships.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. British Journal of Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Academy of Management. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: Feedback; Mentor; Entrepreneurship; Conversation; Accelerator
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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