Purpose: This paper aims to adopt a practice-theory, “site ontology” perspective to understand how venture capitalists (VCs) add value to their portfolio companies (PCs). Design/methodology/approach: The empirical research involves a field ethnographic study of a VC firm in Dubai, focused on revealing what constitutes value and what VCs do to add this value to their PCs. Findings: Value adding is a profoundly social, embedded process interconnected with other ecosystem actors, investment practices and organizations. The value adding threads of VC activity are part of a holistic configuration of practices that span the investment lifecycle and different levels within the firm. Originality/value: This research contributes a rich account of the social, symbolic nature of VC activity, depicting the everyday activities that comprise value adding practices. It is among the first to introduce practice theory to the VC context and open up a new conversation about its social ontology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Pages (from-to)427-447
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number9
Early online date14 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Start-ups
  • Venture capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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