THE SIGNALING VALUE OF REPUTATION AND STATUS: EVIDENCE FROM VC-BACKED ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURES IN THE CLEANTECH SECTOR
We contribute to the ongoing debate on the differential effects of two important intangible assets on organizational outcomes: reputation and status. We explore whether they exert distinct signaling effects on external parties whom evaluate the quality of a company under uncertainty, and if their signaling value depends upon the information asymmetry of external parties receiving the signal. We investigate these questions using a sample of 1,339 U.S. entrepreneurial ventures in the clean technology sector that received the first round of venture capital (VC) finance between the years 1990 and 2012. By looking at their ability to gather supplemental financial resources for survival and growth through initial public offerings (IPOs) or acquisitions, we find that reputation of a venture’s VC ties – a performance-based signal – has a positive signaling effect on public investors at IPOs but does not influence managers of acquiring companies. Furthermore, status of VC ties – a signal of social-standing – does not seem to affect external parties’ judgments neither for IPOs nor for acquisitions.