Knowledge management behaviors in venture capital crossroads: a comparison between IVC and CVC ambidexterity
Institutional venture capitalists (IVCs) and corporate venture capitalists (CVCs) deploy analogous activities but adopt different approaches to financing innovation and value creation for venture-backed firms. Thus, this paper aims to investigate their potential ambidexterity as a result of knowledge management (KM) strategies and processes.
After a focused literature review showing evidence of KM behaviors as a source of potential ambidexterity for IVCs and CVCs, descriptive, inferential and discriminant analyses on the 15 most active IVCs and CVCs in the world in 2019 are presented. Correlations between numbers of deals, prevailing entrepreneurial intensity and potential ambidexterity are investigated.
Specific differences are analyzed from a KM perspective, revealing that the number/percentage of operations per round can result as a misleading criterion of knowledge accumulation. Finally, a theoretical model for ambidexterity for venture capitalists is developed.
The study shows that IVCs act with greater investment capacity because of their organizational structure and purpose and focus on financial goals; moreover, they are ambidextrous, although their exploration may more frequently entail exploitation than “real” exploration. CVCs tend to invest in sectors related to their core business, coherent with their strategic purpose and more oriented with KM strategies for accumulating intellectual capital.