Caveat venditor: Trust asymmetries in acquisitions of entrepreneurial firms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I explore the role of trust in acquisitions of entrepreneurial firms, taking a dyadic view that gives equal attention to buyers and sellers. The two parties have asymmetric views regarding whether their counterparts are trustworthy. I outline how these asymmetries emerge, persist, and influence behavior, including tendencies to behave deceptively and to guard against deception. I also find that buyers' and sellers' beliefs concerning whether their counterparts are trustworthy and trusting are often erroneous. I explore the implications of these findings for developing a theory of trust asymmetries and argue that selecting buyers on the basis of trust increases rather than diminishes entrepreneurs' vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-472
Number of pages38
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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