Description: This study used protocol analysis to identify key variables in the venture capital investment decision-making process. The study used a fictional business plan which was based on six actual business plans. This fictional business plan was presented to ten venture capitalists who were asked to review it to decide whether to interview the investee. The protocols obtained from these subjects were analyzed to determine patterns within the subjects' review. The sections of the business plan which were commonly reviewed first were the deal structure, the executive summary, and the management section. The management section was used by the greatest number of subjects. The market section was used the greatest number of times. The data were also organized by type of operators used in each subject's protocols. Information Search/Retrieval operators were most common, followed by Task Structuring/Set Goal operators. When classified into the four major categories of Task Structuring/Set Goal, Information Acquisition, Analytical/ Inferential, and Choice operators, Analytical/Inferential operators were used most frequently. Choice operators were least used. The phrases were analyzed by the relevant section in the business plan. The market received the greatest number of references, followed by references to the product and to management. However, when references to the income statement and balance sheet were combined as phrases relevant to the financial statements, the financial statements were referred to more frequently than the product or the people. The subjects appeared to use an unidentified choice program within which certain models could be identified as subroutines. The subjects used an elimination-by-aspects model to screen the business plan. If the business plan met the criteria within the elimination-by-aspects model of the subject, the subject used an additive/nonlinear model for the remainder of the review. The results of this study indicate that financial statements provide information important in the venture capital ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Pfeffer, Mary Graves
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation