This paper proposes that in the early stages of a venture entrepreneurs can reduce uncertainty for stakeholders -- and raise the probability of attracting desirable stakeholders -- by exhibiting behaviors associated with fairness and justice. Actors base their reciprocal behaviors -- both positive and negative -- on their subjective perceptions of distributive, procedural and interactional justice. Thus, entrepreneurs can influence perceptions of fairness in early interactions with stakeholders. This paper extends the logic of reciprocity and fairness to the setting in which entrepreneurial firms are seeking to attract desirable stakeholders in order to commercialize innovations.

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Copyright © 2009 Babson College . This article first appeared in Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 29, no. 7 (June 2009): Article 4.

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