How Lead Founder Personality Affects New Venture Performance: The Mediating Role of Team Conflict

Ad de Jong*, Michael Song, Lisa Z. Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This empirical study of 323 new ventures examines how task and relationship conflict in the founding top management team mediates the effect of lead founder personality on new venture performance. The results reveal that (1) openness and agreeableness increase task conflict, whereas conscientiousness decreases it, and (2) openness, extraversion, and conscientiousness decrease relationship conflict, whereas neuroticism increases it. Furthermore, task conflict increases venture performance, whereas relationship conflict decreases venture performance and weakens the positive effect of task conflict. In addition, task and relationship conflict do not mediate the effect of extraversion, and they only partially mediate the effects of openness and neuroticism on new venture performance. Openness and neuroticism exert a direct impact on new venture performance, in addition to their indirect impact through task and relationship conflict.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1825-1854
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Lead founder personality
  • Task and relationship conflict
  • Founding TMT

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