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What Are We Explaining? A Review and Agenda on Initiating, Engaging, Performing, and Contextualizing Entrepreneurship



Entrepreneurship is multifaceted. The purpose of this review is to acknowledge and critically assess the many and varied dependent variables (DVs) of entrepreneurship over the last 17 years. By focusing exclusively on systematically reviewing entrepreneurship’s DVs, this paper maps out, classifies, and provides order to the phenomena that scholars consider part of this self-defined field of research. Using a systematic selection process and an inductive approach to categorization, we offer a meta-framework for organizing entrepreneurship’s DVs. Based on this meta-framework, entrepreneurship involves the (a) initiation, (b) engagement, and (c) performance of entrepreneurial endeavors embedded in (d) environmental conditions, in which an entrepreneurial endeavor is the investment of resources into the pursuit of a potential opportunity. For each category, we offer both a review of the different DVs and opportunities for future research.
Dean A. Shepherd
University of Notre Dame
Karl Wennberg
Linköping University
Roy Suddaby
University of Victoria, and
University of Liverpool
Johan Wiklund
Syracuse University
To be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Management
Acknowledgements: We are grateful for comments from Bill Schulze, Jeffrey McMullen,
Frederic Delmar, Per Davidsson, and four anonymous reviewers. We thank Kurian George
and Chris Cummings for help in classifying the studies. Wennberg acknowledges funding
from the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History, and Antiquities.
Corresponding author: Dean A. Shepherd, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre
Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Entrepreneurship is multifaceted. The purpose of this review is to acknowledge and critically
assess the many and varied dependent variables (DVs) of entrepreneurship over the last 17
years. By focusing exclusively on systematically reviewing entrepreneurship’s DVs, this
paper maps out, classifies, and provides order to the phenomena that scholars consider part of
this self-defined field of research. Using a systematic selection process and an inductive
approach to categorization, we offer a meta-framework for organizing entrepreneurship’s
DVs. Based on this meta-framework, entrepreneurship involves the (a) initiation, (b)
engagement, and (c) performance of entrepreneurial endeavors embedded in (d)
environmental conditions, in which an entrepreneurial endeavor is the investment of resources
into the pursuit of a potential opportunity. For each category, we offer both a review of the
different DVs and opportunities for future research.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Dependent Variables; Initiating; Engaging; Performing;
In 2001, Bill Gartner noted that “entrepreneurship espouses a diverse range of theories
applied to various kinds of phenomena. There is no theory of entrepreneurship that can
account for the diversity of topics that are currently pursued by entrepreneurship scholars
Gartner, 2001: 34). The situation is similar today. Each scholar contributes to the knowledge
of entrepreneurship but more so if the pieces of the puzzle come together. By reviewing the
different pieces and starting to put them together, each scholar gains a more general
understanding that informs his or her subsequent investigations. The purpose of this paper is
to give a big picture perspective to highlight what we know and what we do not know about
entrepreneurship research. Rather than contributing to any specific theory or sub-field of
entrepreneurship (a piece of the puzzle), we intend to contribute to the wider entrepreneurship
literature (the puzzle as a whole). This is a challenging task given entrepreneurship’s many
dependent variables (DVs).
Indeed, at a gathering of strategy and entrepreneurship scholars, a strategy scholar
approached the first author with the following: “You [entrepreneurship] have many different
DVs [dependent variables]. Strategy has performance as its DV. Entrepreneurship needs an
overall DV.” It appeared that he felt sorry for us entrepreneurship scholars representing a field
that lacked a single unifying DV. The first author’s response was along the lines of, “Yes, we
have many different DVs; isn’t it great!” The conversation ended as quickly as it started, but
its gist was impactful. Yes, strategic management relies primarily on explaining firm
performance or some antecedent thereof (e.g., Wiersema & Bowen, 2009). But
entrepreneurship is different; it is multifaceted and manifested in many different ways. And
that is a good thing! The purpose of this review is to organize the many and varied DVs of
entrepreneurship and to offer some important opportunities for future research. Thus, it is an
examination of what entrepreneurship scholars attempt to explain. It is not a review of the
relationships involving these DVssuch a review would involve the field’s entire body of
knowledge. It does not explain the creation or formation of these DVs. Rather, we hope that
this filtered snapshot of the entrepreneurship field’s terrain can provide a basis for making
sense of where the field currently stands, the position of a study vis-à-vis other studies, and
identify relatively unexplored terrain.
We start our review in the year 2001. Apart from marking the start of the new
millennium, this allows us to take off from where the influential special issue published in
ETP in 2001 “Low and MacMillan ten years on: Achievements and future directions for
entrepreneurship research” finished. We encourage readers to consult this special issue
(including Gartner [2001] that provided our opening quote) to gain a complete picture of the
intellectual foundation on which current research rests. 2001 also marks the year following
Shane and Venkataraman (2000), which was influential in subsequent scholarly conversations
in entrepreneurship, and thus the results of our review. The research reviewed does not occur
in a vacuum; it built on prior insights and embedded in larger societal trends and
developments. Both are important in explaining why scholars focus on the DVs that they do.
The extensive scope of our review does not allow us to systematically explicate all such
connections to past research and current trends. However, when appropriate to contextualize
our analysis, we offer such connections. For example, we note that crowdfunding is a recent
phenomenon and therefore related DVs have only been studied in the last few years.
This review of entrepreneurship’s DVs provides three primary contributions. First, we
offer a meta-framework that synthesizes the DVs of entrepreneurship research over the past
17 years. Based on the literature, we identify three overarching themes and label and sort DVs
into categories within each theme. This framework allows us to organize an unwieldy field
and assist scholars in situating their research within the existing body of knowledge. Second,
the review allows us to identify gaps regarding our current understanding of the phenomena
and offer a number of future research opportunities. Third, previous research has largely taken
a top-down approach to define the field (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), its uniqueness
(Gartner, 1990), and what should (Shepherd, 2015) and should not (Davidsson, 2017) be the
focus of entrepreneurship research. In this review, we offer a different approach. Our meta-
framework arises from an inductive review of the studies that self-report as entrepreneurship.
Therefore, we do not enforce our opinion of what constitutes entrepreneurship; rather we
reflect the opinions of those who create the knowledge. Of course, the review still involves
judgment and choices especially in proposing future research opportunities. We do not seek to
distinguish entrepreneurship from other scholarly domains because we have a different
purposewe want to capture and represent the “lay of the land” currently staked out by self-
reported entrepreneurship studies and also identify fertile lands for future exploration. Finally,
we highlight how entrepreneurship’s DVs provide vitality to a field that draws on a diverse set
of theories, methods, and scholars.
We started by casting a wide net: all papers that self-report as entrepreneurship (using
the term “entrepreneur*”) in the title, keywords, or abstract of top journals in entrepreneurship
(Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Small Business
Economics, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal) and in management (Academy of
Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly,
Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Science) since
2001. This search produced 1,041 papers. We reviewed the abstract of each paper to
determine its suitability for inclusion in the review. We rejected 101 papers because they were
introductions to special issues, review papers, research methods papers, or did not have
entrepreneurship as their stated focus. Because variance-based papers focus on DVs and
process papers do not (Langley, et al., 2013), we excluded 22 papers that were exclusively
process oriented. We reviewed each of the remaining 918 papers to generate a meta-
framework to organize the review and provide a springboard for future research.
We made a number of decisions in conducting the review. First, we focused on the
primary DV of a particular study (when applicable). For example, while a mediating variable
is the DV for one variable and the IV of another, we focused on the ultimate outcome variable
for the study. For studies that had multiple DVs (as ultimate outcomes), we included each of
the DVs in the review. Second, we focused our review on papers from 2001 and onwards.
Although this somewhat limits our ability to detect and discuss long-term trends, much has
happened over the last 17 years, and we offer some discussion of changes over this period.
Finally, although we reviewed all papers, we did not cite them all because doing so would
increase the length of the article without a corresponding increase in information.
Organizing the Review
In Figure 1a, we offer a meta-framework for organizing entrepreneurship’s DVs.
Based on this meta-framework, we offer the following
Entrepreneurship involves the initiation, engagement, and performance of
entrepreneurial endeavors embedded in environmental conditions, where an
entrepreneurial endeavor is the investment of resources (i.e., cognitive, behavioral,
financial, and/or other resources) into the pursuit (exploration and/or exploitation) of
a potential opportunity.
This meta-framework of entrepreneurship research serves the purpose of offering a
parsimonious, big picture of entrepreneurship research to organize the current literature. In
Figure 1b, we build on the meta-framework of entrepreneurship’s DVs to highlight the
opportunities for future research discussed in our review. The bullet points represent our
suggestions for future entrepreneurship research. We also highlight suggestions for future
entrepreneurship research across stages by the dashed arrows, which indicate the iterative and
dynamic nature of entrepreneurship and how the DVs of one stage can be the IVs of future
studies of different stages (and vice versa).
Insert Figure 1 about here
Literature Review
Entrepreneurship research has been interested in explaining the initiation of
entrepreneurial endeavorsthe first steps (cognitively, affectively, and/or behaviorally) of
identifying (through recognition or co-creation) and evaluating a potential opportunity before
full-scale exploitation. DVs capturing these initial steps are those related to (1) entrepreneurial
cognitions about opportunity, (2) entrepreneurial cognition on other initiations, (3)
entrepreneurial intention, (4) entrepreneurial motivation, (5) entry, and (6) distinctive groups
of initiating endeavors.
First, research on the DVs of entrepreneurial cognitions on opportunity includes
opportunity identification, opportunity evaluation, and related processes. Opportunity
identificationthe belief that one has discovered or can create a new product-market (or
service-market) combination that, when exploited, will add value for the actor and/or others
has been investigated in terms of opportunity recognition (Ardichvili, et al., 2003), discovery
(Ozgen & Baron, 2007), and formation (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006). Empirically, studies
have investigated opportunity identification regarding the number of ideas (Gielnik, et al.,
2012) and the number of (potential) opportunities (Gruber, et al., 2012; Shepherd &
DeTienne, 2005). Opportunity evaluationthe assessment of the extent to which exploiting a
particular new product-market (or service-market) combination will add value for the actor
and/or othershas been investigated in terms of market attractiveness (Haynie, et al., 2009),
wealth-creating potential (Fiet, 2007), and sustainable development (Patzelt & Shepherd,
Research has also explored entrepreneurial processessequences of cognitions,
activities, and resources for identifying and evaluating a potential opportunity. For example,
Gregoire, Barr, and Shepherd (2010) explained the process of aligning structural relationships
of the market and a technology (vis-à-vis superficial features); Hayton and Cholakova (2012)
investigated the aspects of the entrepreneurial ideadevelopment process; and Auerswald
(2008) modeled new combinations of organizational production routines as a potential
opportunity source. Other studies have attended to DVs highlighting heterogeneity in
entrepreneurial alertness (Ozgen & Baron, 2007; Valliere, 2013), attributions made about
opportunities (Gartner, et al., 2008), the willingness to accept risk (Mullins & Forlani, 2005)
and/or uncertainty (Wood, et al., 2014) associated with pursuing potential opportunities.
Second, research on entrepreneurial cognition has included aspects other than those
directly related to opportunity. These studies have DVs related to the cognitive construction of
business models between high- and low-profit businesses (Malmström, et al., 2015) as well as
whether entrepreneurial proclivity is inherited (Ellis, et al., 2017). Also, Baron (2008: 334-
335) proposed a series of DVs, some of which are related to cognition, including alertness and
tolerance for high stress, and Lerner (2016) explored others’ beliefs about entrepreneurs’
cognitions regarding their generative and administrative qualities. With both a cognitive and a
behavioral component, studies have investigated entrepreneurial search as a DVactivities
for detecting, accumulating, and interpreting information about the attractiveness of a
potential opportunityincluding how and where to search (Fiet, 2007), when to stop
searching (Fiet, et al., 2005), and ideas generated or identified through search (Fiet & Patel,
2008). Searching for and finding venture ideas can lead to the exploitation of a potential
opportunity (De Carolis & Saparito, 2006) and increase entrepreneurs’ likelihood of acting on
subsequent potential opportunities (Wood, et al., 2017).
Third, studies of entrepreneurial intentionthe commitment to take active steps
toward an entrepreneurial endeavoran endeavor that includes self-employment (Erikson,
2002) or the pursuit of an opportunity (Lee & Venkataraman, 2006) by starting a new
business (Bullough, et al., 2014) or by conducting entrepreneurial activities in an established
organization (Fini, et al., 2012). Sometimes, scholars use entrepreneurial intention as a proxy
for behavior. This use of intention as a proxy for behavior is not necessarily a wise practice
given that many individuals form entrepreneurial intentions, but only a small minority turn
their intentions into actions (Van Gelderen, et al., 2015). Critical to entrepreneurial intention
is the notion of entrepreneurial self-beliefan individual’s confidence in his or her ability to
successfully identify, evaluate, and exploit a potential opportunity that is consistent with
perceptions of “who am I” and “who I want to be.” Such investigations have studied DVs like
entrepreneurial self-image (Verheul, et al., 2005), the ability to sustain confidence and
flexibility to adapt (Miller & Sardais, 2015), and entrepreneurs’ self-views after experiencing
failure (Shepherd & Haynie, 2011). Moreover, given its frequent use as an independent
variable, Forbes (2005) investigated entrepreneurial self-efficacythe belief that one will be
successful at entrepreneurial tasksas a DV.
Fourth, motivation research in the initiation stagethe desire or willingness to initiate
an entrepreneurial endeavorhas explored entrepreneurial goals by examining the extent to
which wealth creation is a central goal of entrepreneurship (McCaffrey, 2014); the extent to
which businesses care for the environment (Patzelt & Shepherd, 2011); and have goals to
create economic, social, or environmental value (Hechavarría, et al., 2017) or to make a
change in the world by creating something new (Wyrwich, 2015). Also, scholars have
examined the difficulty of the goals entrepreneurs set for themselves (Baron, et al., 2016).
This stream of motivation research has also explored aspirations, including the practicing
entrepreneurs’ development aspirations (Doern & Goss, 2014), aspirations for growth
(Wiklund & Shepherd, 2003), and entrepreneurs’ inclination to persevere with current
exploration activities (Muehlfeld, et al., 2015). Others have examined aspirations for
corporate entrepreneurship among engineers and scientists within established firms (Marvel &
Lumpkin, 2007) and members within family businesses (Minola, et al., 2016). Also, research
has investigated entrepreneurs’ aspirations to pursue political appointments (Li & Liang,
2015), the entrepreneurial aspirations of ethnic minorities (Thomas, 2009), and regional
differences in entrepreneurial aspirations (Harada, 2005).
Fifth, a common DV is entryundertaking organized activities such as individuals’
status as a self-employed person (Obschonka & Stuetzer, 2017) in both small proprietorships
or hobby firms (Kim, et al., 2015) and in incorporated (Özcan, 2011) and venture-backed
(Beckman, 2006) firms. These entry studies have investigated entrepreneurs’ creation of new
for-profit (Eesley, 2016) and non-profit (Dutta, 2017) organizations and have distinguished
between entrepreneurs’ part-time and full-time entry (Folta, et al., 2010). Studies have also
investigated team entry (Ruef, et al., 2003) to create new organizations (De Carolis, et al.,
2009) and to facilitate the emergence of new organizations (Haveman, et al., 2012; Newbert &
Tornikoski, 2012), including speed through the new venture process (Kim et al., 2015).
Research has also looked at re-entry regarding subsequent new venture creation by
individuals who become serial/habitual (Amaral, et al., 2011) or portfolio entrepreneurs
(Wiklund & Shepherd, 2008), including re-entry by those whose businesses previously failed
(Simmons, et al., 2014). Entry (or re-entry) may arise from employees deciding to participate
in corporate venturing programs (Monsen, et al., 2010) and can be into more or less difficult
markets (Cain, et al., 2015).
Finally, scholars have used DVs to reflect differences in groupings of individuals
taking the initial steps of the entrepreneurial endeavor. A large number of studies have
compared male and female entrepreneurs in their initiation of entrepreneurial endeavors in
terms of ownership rates (Bullough, et al., 2017), latent and nascent entrepreneurship rates
(Bönte & Piegeler, 2013), credit success (Kim, 2006), micro-finance borrowing (Brana,
2013), conversion of intentions to action (van der Zwan, et al., 2012), motivation (DeMartino
& Barbato, 2003), opportunity identification (DeTienne & Chandler, 2007), opportunity
evaluation (Gupta, et al., 2014), personality and other demographics (Jennings & McDougald,
2007), propensity for (Adachi & Hisada, 2017), reasons for becoming self-employed
(Saridakis, et al., 2014), and self-employment duration (Rosti & Chelli, 2005). Another stream
of studies has investigated differences in groups in terms of ethnicity (US-based studies) or
immigration status (Europe-based studies) in terms of entry (Fairchild, 2008), behavior
(Chuah, et al., 2016), personality (Aboal & Veneri, 2016), push/pull into entrepreneurship
(Constant & Zimmermann, 2006), self-employment rates (Fairlie, 2004), and repeat
entrepreneurship (Westhead, et al., 2005). Additional groupings to highlight distinctions
include corporate versus independent (Kacperczyk, 2012); and solo self-employed versus
employer entrepreneurs (Medrano-Adán, et al., 2015). Apart from making comparisons
among types of entrepreneurs, some studies have also used the individual level of analysis to
compare entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneur groups (e.g., Medrano-Adán et al., 2015).
Future Research Opportunities
Although research has substantially increased our knowledge of the initial steps of the
entrepreneurial journey, there are many opportunities for future research to contribute to the
entrepreneurship literature including research on (1) a richer and deeper investigation of
opportunity, (2) a more micro-perspective of self-employment entry, and (3) an expanded
range of initiation contexts.
First, despite a long-standing tradition of studying various aspects of entrepreneurial
opportunity starting well before the period we have reviewed, there are several under-explored
domains. For example, rather than viewing a potential opportunity as being exploited or not
yet exploited, perhaps exploitation can be considered on a continuum or as multiple steps.
Future research can explore how opportunity exploitation emerges (e.g., through the
entrepreneur’s interactions with the community of inquiry [see Shepherd, 2015]) and what
stages, forms, or activities this emergence takes. A more in-depth understanding of the
opportunity emergence increases the chance for us to teach entrepreneurs how to engage in
this process more successfully, proceed through the process more quickly, and engage others
in facilitating the process (how and when). Making such a contribution requires a scholarly
focus on changes over time, which may require alternate methods and data sources.
Furthermore, the opportunity DVs in our review have largely focused at the individual
level of analysis, but they need not. While collectives are often involved in the opportunity
process, teams also evaluate potential opportunities and perhaps even collectively form
opportunity beliefs. How do collectives evaluate opportunities, and why do some
entrepreneurial teams generate different assessments than others? Similarly, how do groups
formulate beliefs, and why do some form collective beliefs about certain opportunities
whereas others form beliefs about different opportunities or collectively doubt the viability of
potential opportunities altogether? Building on the substantial literature on teams, we have a
solid foundation from which to generate new insights on collectives’ opportunity outcomes.
Second, although research has explored entry through the creation of a new
organization as a series of steps of emergence (Newbert & Tornikoski, 2012), research on
individuals’ entry into self-employment is still largely characterized as one big step or, more
recently, as a two-step procedure (Folta et al., 2010). With the emergence of ‘boundaryless’
careers within and across nations, fueled by digital technologies, the boundaries between
employment and entrepreneurship becomes increasingly blurred (Evans, et al., 2004).
Entrepreneurship research could reach further by studying different types of self-employment
as more or less entrepreneurial with other attributes. Research can explore how the decision
processes, sequences of organizing steps, and types and sources of resources differ depending
on the entrepreneurialness of the self-employment choice. The level of entrepreneurialness of
entry can also apply to the creation of new ventures and becomes particularly interesting in
the context of serial entrepreneurswhat is the pattern of their entrepreneurialness of entry
over time, and do portfolio entrepreneurs think about constructing a portfolio based on
ventures with varying (or similar) levels of entrepreneurialness?
Moreover, much of the research in this theme has worked from the assumption that
entrepreneurs’ entry mindset informs their entry decisions and actions. However, an entry
mindset could also be a consequence of entryfor example, the outcome of sensemaking.
Perhaps entry performance leads to a change in goals and decision policies related to
evaluating potential opportunities; and the generation of positive and negative emotions that
broaden or constrict the mindset, respectively (see Fredrickson, 1998). Moreover, what role
if anydoes an entry mindset play in exit or termination decisions? Perhaps for many, an
entry mindset conflicts with and dominates an exit mindset (e.g., the escalation of
commitment), but for some, the two mindsets may be complementary (such as with a real
options reasoning [McGrath, 1999]). It could be that an entrepreneurial mindset has become
more prevalent given the lowering costs of both start-up and raising funds (e.g., via
crowdfunding). We need further research to understand better the nature of entrepreneurs’
entry mindset (Wood et al., 2017); the way it works; and its relationships with decisions and
actions, such as exit, portfolio construction, and opportunity exploitation.
Finally, there are ample research opportunities to explore further entrepreneurial entry
in specific contexts, with research on entry into informal markets being particularly
promising. Micro-studies can explore why entrepreneurs choose to enter the informal
economy instead of the formal economy as well as differences in entry actions, entry mindset,
and entry performance in the informal economy. Macro-studies can explore how new entries
impact the informal economy and the corresponding formal economy and what social impacts
there are for the communities “touched” by informal entrepreneurial action. It is also
important to understand what psychological, emotional, and social effects entry into the
informal economy has on entrepreneurs. We realize that research on entry into the informal
economy is challenging, but future research on this topic can make important contributions to
our understanding of entrepreneurial phenomena. Rather than a change in context, a shift to a
micro-focus can begin to reveal the specific cogs and wheels underlying different
entrepreneurial actions (e.g., see Shepherd, 2015). Indeed, by explaining specific activities or
sequences of activities, we can introduce more proximal and precise DVs, which should
increase the explanatory power of our models. For example, there is ample opportunity to
explain the different activities that constitute the search for promising opportunities and how
they fit together. For instance, what activities do entrepreneurs use to detect signals of
opportunity, to accumulate information about market trends, and to facilitate interpretation of
data? There is much to learn about the practice of entrepreneurship.
Literature Review
DVs for the engagement of entrepreneurial endeavorsthe cognitive, affective,
behavioral, and/or organizational activities of involvement in the process of exploiting a
potential opportunityinclude outcomes related to (1) engaged decision making, (2)
acquiring and allocating resources, (3) entrepreneurial organizing, (4) commitment, affect,
and well-being; (5) engaged learning; and (6) innovative orientation, inputs, and outcomes.
First, some studies have explained engaged decision makingthe process of choosing
a course of action by those involved in exploiting a potential opportunityby studying DVs
such as the use of effectual logic vis-à-vis causal logic (Engel, et al., 2017), the nature and use
of intuition (Dane & Pratt, 2007: 40), and the nature and use of metacognition (Haynie, et al.,
2010). Uygur and Kim (2016) also investigated entrepreneurial decision making as both
judgment selectiveness (i.e., discernment between factors) and conviction (i.e., the strength of
the causal map). Ethical decision making in the entrepreneurial context has also been a topic
of interest in terms of moral imagination and identity (McVea, 2009), rule breaking (Brenkert,
2009), moral disengagement (Shepherd, et al., 2013), and informal entrepreneurship (Webb, et
al., 2013). This decision making research has also investigated DVs such as investment
choices (Cassar & Friedman, 2009) and other important decisions, such as time commitment
(Davidsson & Gordon, 2016) during the venture-creation phase, and the decision to persist
despite losing courses of action (DeTienne, et al., 2008) or terminate the failing projects of a
corporate portfolio (Shepherd, et al., 2014) or a failing business (Shepherd, et al., 2009; or
distinct forms of exit [Wennberg, et al., 2010]).
A number of studies have investigated DVs related to entrepreneurs’ time-related
decisions, including the speed of decision making (Bakker & Shepherd, 2017; Forbes, 2005),
entrepreneurs’ allocation of time to their ventures (Burmeister-Lamp, et al., 2012), and
decisions about the future in terms of growth (i.e., attitudes [Wiklund, et al., 2003] and
expectancies [Manolova, et al., 2007]). Indeed, decisions about the future raise the questions
about the accuracy of decisions (e.g., Cassar & Craig, 2009). Studies exploring the accuracy
of entrepreneurs’ decisions have focused on entrepreneurs’ susceptibility to status quo bias
(Burmeister & Schade, 2007: 340), hindsight bias (Cassar & Craig, 2009: 150), over-
optimism (Cassar, 2010) (see also over-confidence [Hayward, et al., 2006)].
Second, in explaining resource acquisitionobtaining the inputs necessary for, or
facilitating, an entrepreneurial endeavorscholars have paid considerable attention to the
skillful use of persuasive language in interactions with external stakeholders, particularly
funders (Plummer, et al., 2016), to establish venture legitimacy. As such, researchers have
explained the different types of meta-narratives used for legitimacy development (Ruebottom,
2013), the presentation of appropriate scenes to stakeholders (Clarke, 2011), the range of
visual symbols entrepreneurs use during interactions with stakeholders (Clarke, 2011), and the
way entrepreneurs set stakeholder expectations (Garud et al., 2014). Further, a number of
studies have investigated how an organization’s structure conveys legitimacy in terms of
identity differentiation from peers (Certo, et al., 2001) and has also distinguished between
women entrepreneurs who partner with men vis-à-vis women who do not partner with men
(Godwin, et al., 2006).
Further, an emerging stream of research has focused on how legitimation strategies
vary in later stages of the entrepreneurial process for efficient resource allocation, i.e., the
portioning and distributing of acquired resources. Karlsson and Honig (2009) demonstrated
that once entrepreneurs acquire needed resources, they engage in loose coupling from their
business plans and adopt new legitimation strategies. Fisher, and colleagues (2017) similarly
observed that as an entrepreneurial venture matures, it must adapt its legitimation strategies
and organizational identity to new resource providers due to the new legitimacy expectations
of more sophisticated financiers. Dunkelberg et al. (2013) found that as entrepreneurs’
resource goals changes, so do their legitimation and resource-allocation strategies.
Moreover, research has also explained entrepreneurial funding decisions in terms of
entrepreneurs’ preference to finance with less bank debt (Huyghebaert, et al., 2007) as well as
entrepreneurs’ choices between venture capital and bank finance (De Bettignies & Brander,
2007), between venture capitalists and business angels (Fairchild, 2011), and among specific
venture capitalists (Drover, et al., 2014). Other DVs related to entrepreneurial decision
making include decisions on which stock market to list on (Ding, et al., 2010) and the type of
contract to enter into with investors (Dushnitsky & Shapira, 2010). Research on business
angels’ decisions has focused on explaining their assessments of venture performance
(Bammens & Collewaert, 2014), the timing of possible investments (Maxwell, et al., 2011),
the legitimacy of ventures seeking funding (Becker-Blease & Sohl, 2015), and the quality of
their communication with entrepreneurs (Bammens & Collewaert, 2014). In terms of venture
capitalistsand investors more generallydecision outcomes studied as DVs include the
selection of which entrepreneurial firms to invest in (Murnieks, et al., 2016), evaluations of
firms’ founders (Matusik, et al., 2008), their business plans (Chan & Park, 2015), and stage of
investment (Hsu, 2010). Decision outcomes studied as DVs also include external actors’
funding decisions related to debt (Rassenfosse & Fischer, 2016), including gender differences
in decision criteria (Carter, et al., 2007). In recognizing that funding can come from internal
sources, research has investigated DVs related to actors’ activities to fund ongoing
entrepreneurial activities. Internal sources of funding come from bootstrapping (Grichnik, et
al., 2014) as well as from entrepreneurs themselves when they re-invest in their businesses
(Ge, et al., 2017). Internal funding can even come from the entrepreneur’s family, but such
funding can lead the entrepreneur to feel restricted and constrained (Au & Kwan, 2009).
Third, entrepreneurial organizingthe activities involved in accessing and
coordinating resources for exploiting a potential opportunityoften involves interacting to
develop the potential opportunity (Dimov, 2007), to gain the support of potential partners
(Dimov, 2007), to share information underlying inventions and innovations (Bercovitz &
Feldman, 2008), and to gain political access (Pinkse & Groot, 2015). Entrepreneurial
organizing can involve planning (i.e., an action to facilitate subsequent actions), with DVs like
the number of business-planning activities (Brinckmann & Kim, 2015) and whether a formal
plan has been generated or not (Honig & Karlsson, 2004). This organizing is also reflected in
the proportion of resources firms allocate to new products (Sirmon & Hitt, 2003) as well as in
efforts to solve problems, such as those involved in coordinating resources and appropriating
value (Alvarez & Barney, 2005), balancing transnational activities (Patel & Conklin, 2009),
allocating time to specific activities (Murnieks, et al., 2014), and forming networks (Hite,
2005). On the individual level, research has studied DVs like entrepreneurs’ intentions to form
new network ties (Vissa, 2011), time spent developing and maintaining network ties (Greve &
Salaff, 2003), the perceived value of new network contacts (Grossman, et al., 2012), and the
addition and deletion of network contacts (Vissa, 2012). On the venture level, DVs include the
choice (Hallen, 2008) and effectiveness (Hallen & Eisenhardt, 2012) of forming new ties with
other firms and the choice between using networks or formal markets when approaching
investors (Zhang, et al., 2008).
Organizing can take many different forms. Studies have examined differences in entry
strategies (e.g., conservative versus adventurous [Schwienbacher, 2007]), operating strategies
(franchising versus internal expansion [Gonzalez-Diaz & Solis-Rodriguez, 2012]), informal
business venturing (Khavul, et al., 2009), and on productive versus unproductive
entrepreneurship at the macro level (Collins, et al., 2016). Entrepreneurship research has also
examined how social entrepreneurship differs from commercial entrepreneurship (Estrin, et
al., 2016), how social entrepreneurship can take different organizational forms [Townsend &
Hart, 2008]), how it can use conformist versus insurgent strategies (Muñoz & Dimov, 2015),
and how it can create different kinds of value (McMullen & Warnick, 2016) for example by
addressing market failures (Dean & McMullen, 2007). Scholars have made similar
considerations in studies on environmental (York, et al., 2016) and public-service ventures
(Cabral, et al., 2013). Other forms related to differences amongst various groups regarding
ethnicity and venture capital investments (Zhang et al., 2016a) and gender and funding (Orser,
et al., 2006).
Fourth, this organizing can involve entrepreneurial commitmenta personal
investment of time, energy, and other resources into the exploitation of a potential
opportunity, which can generate affective outcomes and have implications for the
entrepreneur’s well-being. While some research in this area has focused on established
commitment constructs as DVs, such as affective commitment by entrepreneurs (Pollack, et
al., 2015) and employees (Breugst, et al., 2012), new DVs have also been introduced, such as
Mitchell, Mitchell and Smith’s (2008) notion of a new transaction commitment mindset. From
a different perspective, Wolfe and Patel (2016) explained entrepreneurs’ grit as perseverance
for long-term goals, and others have explained the nature of goals in the entrepreneurial
context. Further, entrepreneurship studies have explored emotional and social outcomes and
the combination of the two such as trust between entrepreneurs and partners (Howorth &
Moro, 2006), the risk of entrepreneurs’ over-trusting (Goel & Karri, 2006), and entrepreneurs’
perceptions of relational support and satisfaction with customer relationships (De Clercq &
Rangarajan, 2008). Some have examined the emotional consequences of entrepreneurship,
such as the extent to which starting a business elicits negative emotions (Doern & Goss, 2014)
or the extent to which engaging in specific entrepreneurial tasks generates passion (Cardon, et
al., 2017). Furthermore, some have characterized habitual entrepreneurship as an addiction
involving both positive and negative emotions (Spivack, et al., 2014).
Many studies have attended to negative emotions from social interactions, such as
from conflicts between entrepreneurs and stakeholders (Collewaert & Fassin, 2013), negative
affect from inter-personal conflict in teams engaged in an entrepreneurial task (Breugst &
Shepherd, 2017), envy (Biniari, 2012), feelings of grief over failure (Shepherd, 2003), the
level of stigma applied to an entrepreneur of a failed business (Shepherd & Patzelt, 2015), and
fear of failure (Mitchell & Shepherd, 2010). These negative emotions are assumed to indicate
diminished well-being. Investigations of entrepreneurial well-being have taken various forms
of subjective satisfaction, including global life satisfaction (Baron, et al., 2016), job
satisfaction (Kwon & Sohn, 2017), pay satisfaction (Dawson, 2017), and quality of life
(Kautonen, et al., 2017). Relatedly, studies have explained psychological well-being in terms
of peak experience, peak performance, and flow (Schindehutte, et al., 2006) as well as
resilience in the aftermath of a disaster (Williams & Shepherd, 2016).
Fifth, by engaging in an entrepreneurial endeavor, individuals and organizations can
facilitate sensemaking and other forms of engaged learning, i.e., increased knowledge gained
from participating in an entrepreneurial endeavor. Studies have explored sensemaking-related
DVs among entrepreneurs (Strike & Rerup, 2016) and their advisors (Mantere, et al., 2013)
and on the venture level (Grimes, 2010), the usage of analogies and metaphors (Cornelissen &
Clarke, 2010), the objectification of ideas (Tocher, et al., 2015), as well as ventures’ strategies
(Strike & Rerup, 2016) and processes (Grimes, 2010). There have been numerous
investigations of learning from failure (Cope, 2011), including the use of structural alignment
processes (Mueller & Shepherd, 2016), emotion regulation (Shepherd & Haynie, 2011), and
narrative accounts of failure by entrepreneurs and stakeholders (Byrne & Shepherd, 2015),
with some work, also noting differences across regions (Cardon, et al., 2011).
Research has also explored DVs related to learning regarding the perceived level of
goal achievement and skill development (Van Gelderen et al., 2005) and serial entrepreneurs’
performance in subsequent ventures (Toft-Kehler, et al., 2014). From a social perspective,
entrepreneurs can learn from peers (Falck, et al., 2012), from co-workers (Nanda & Sørensen,
2010), within a venture’s management team (Bruneel, et al., 2010), and across ventures
(Zheng, et al., 2013). This social learning includes knowledge acquisition and improvisation
in teams (Zheng & Mai, 2013), the rate of learning from competitors (Lévesque, et al., 2009),
and new ventures’ technological learning (Zahra, et al., 2000). The organization can also
learn. Organization-based studies have explored learning (or lack thereof) in terms of
organizations’ strategic or undisciplined termination of venturing projects (Corbett, et al.,
2007), corporate entrepreneurs’ enhanced self-awareness and knowledge (Byrne, et al., 2016),
and organizational members’ learning from project failure (Shepherd, et al., 2011).
Sixth, entrepreneurship studies on the inputs to innovationthe idea development of,
problem solving for, and implementation of new products, services, and/or processeshave
focused on the resources that small and/or new ventures spend on R&D in terms of R&D
propensity and intensity (Guzzini & Iacobucci, 2014). Research concerned with the
innovation process has focused on how an organization’s climate influences the extent to
which employees seek out and implement new products (Kang, et al., 2016) and how users
create, evaluate, share, and commercialize their ideas (Shah & Tripsas, 2007). Indeed,
innovativeness is a key dimension of a firm’s entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and can lead to
pivots. Despite considerable research on entrepreneurial orientation (EO) as an independent
variable, there are only a few studies that have explored it as a DV, including studies on the
level of entrepreneurial orientation (Boling, et al., 2016) and changes in firms’ entrepreneurial
orientation (Grühn, et al., 2017).
Finally, innovations may lead to pivots. Studies of pivots have focused on individual-
level DVs such as changes in founder’s self-identity (Grimes, 2018), and with firm-level DVs
such as adopting (or resisting) disruptive business model innovations (Dewald & Bowen,
2010), and changing the venture’s industry (Eggers & Song, 2015) and top management
(Wasserman, 2003). However, some changes may be less drastic than a pivot, including
limiting the scope of commercialization (Mollick, 2014), terminating a project (Shepherd et
al., 2014), and avoiding environmental degradation (Pacheco, et al., 2010).
Future Research Opportunities
Building on the extant literature that explains attributes of engagement in an
entrepreneurial endeavor, we now turn our attention to research opportunities to extend and
enrich this research stream including on (1) human resource management and other decisions,
(2) the creation of, and pivoting from, routines, (3) collective entrepreneurial cognition, (4)
positive and negative affect, (5) motivation, (6) funding through family, fools and friends, and
(7) entrepreneurial learning.
First, we need more research on human resource management decisions, which likely
occur before a venture is formed and continue after that (Beckman & Burton, 2008). For
example, it is critical to choose the “right” person with whom to co-found a venture. How are
human resource decisions made, why do some entrepreneurial teams arrive at different
decisions than other entrepreneurial teams, and which human resources decisions are more
successful than other human resource decisions? How do social network sites and other
technological tools in the digital age affect resource assembly mechanisms, social capital
resources, and behavioral norms among entrepreneurs and their stakeholder (Smith, et al.,
2017)? Although such research is at the initiation stage of the entrepreneurial endeavor, such
investigations would complement research on the addition and subtraction of members to an
entrepreneurial team as they are engaged in the exploitation of a potential opportunity
(Ucbasaran, et al., 2003). For example, who decides to add (or subtract) an individual to the
entrepreneurial team, and how is that decision made (and to what effect)? In many decision-
making contexts, the outcomes depend on the decisions of both parties involved (e.g.,
entrepreneur and investor), and even then, the situation likely involves a series of back-and-
forth decisions by both parties (and within a party). Future research can make an important
contribution by exploring the decision making of the multiple parties involved in an outcome,
the sequence of those decisions, and the dynamism of the process.
Furthermore, research has typically focused on the decisions of an individual but has
rarely investigated how others can influence those entrepreneurial decisions. This insufficient
exploration highlights opportunities to study, for example, how venture capitalists make a
collective decision to fund a venture (portfolio company), how the entrepreneurial team
decides to pivot, and whether (or when) a collective decision is more accurate (or quicker to
action) than an individual’s decision. There are ample opportunities to investigate the
collective aspect of entrepreneurial decision making in established organizations. For
example, who are involved in the decisions to initiate, proceed, or terminate an
entrepreneurial project, how and why are these actors involved, and how are the decisions
made? As these questions reveal, we do not yet have a complete understanding of decision
making in the corporate entrepreneurship context.
Second, like organizations, routines emergeit is difficult to say when a routine exists
in the early stages of a venture, but scholars can investigate the formation and emergence of
routines before solidifying into the type of routines studied in strategic management. Scholars
may also seek to bridge the founder and venture levels of analysis by studying how
entrepreneurs’/teams’ habits become a source of venture routines (or norms) as well as
whether venture-level routines impact the habits of the entrepreneur and employees.
Entrepreneurship research thus has the opportunity to investigate how organizing systems
originate, develop, and persist across levels of analysis. Research also has the opportunity to
investigate radical changes to these established positions. Indeed, given the uncertainty
surrounding entrepreneurial action and the importance of trial and error, it is somewhat
surprising that entrepreneurship scholars have not invested more scholarly effort in explaining
major adjustments to strategy (i.e., course corrections). Explaining pivots could involve
returning to the initial stage of the meta-framework: pivoting could be the result of a re-
evaluation of the potential opportunity involving additional search and perhaps the
identification of a new potential opportunity. While popular in managerial discourse and
teaching, the topic of pivoting remains under-explored in the entrepreneurial context.
Third, over and above collective decision making suggested above, research could
contribute by investigating other cognitive outcomes at the collective level. For example, we
are beginning to understand how entrepreneurial action can impact an individual’s well-being,
but what about collective well-being, such as the well-being of the entire entrepreneurial
venture, or the well-being of the community impacted by the venture’s products and services
or even the well-being of society enhanced by individuals willing to pursue potential
opportunities despite high uncertainty? Similarly, we have explored an individual’s
commitment to an entrepreneurial project or venture, but what explains a founding team’s
commitment to a focal potential opportunity, an entrepreneurial venture’s commitment to
solving an environmental or social problem, or a nation’s commitment to protecting
entrepreneurs whose businesses fail?
Fourth, there is much scope to examine affect as a DV. The work by Spivack et al.
(2014) highlights both positive and negative emotions and touches on the “dark” side of
entrepreneurship. Future research could contribute to extending this work by exploring how
the entrepreneurial process generates both positive and negative emotions and whether they
persist over time or whether positive emotions “undo” negative emotions (Fredrickson, 1998).
There are also opportunities to build on the notion that emotions are contagious (Barsade,
2002) as well as to explore the emotions of individuals within entrepreneurial teams (of de
novo or de alio ventures) and the ways these individual emotions become collective emotions
that motivate or obstruct collective entrepreneurial action.
Fifth, much of the research on goals in entrepreneurship has its origin in
industrial/organizational psychology with goals and tasks often set for employees by
superiors. Entrepreneurs have the leeway to choose their work tasks and work-effort levels to
fit their own needs and preferences. For example, an entrepreneur may have the goal to
expand his or her business extensively but may change this goal if he or she has a child. As
such, it would be interesting to see how entrepreneurs’ goals related to their businesses mesh
with goals in their private lives and how both change over time.
Sixth, given that the initial stages of venture formation are the most difficult to fund
using traditional sources and the lowering costs of an entrepreneurial startup, it is surprising
that we do not know more about the three Fsfamily, friends, and foolsas sources of
funding. Why do some entrepreneurs seek funding from family and friends while others do
not, and why do some family and friends invest while others do not? This question may be
particularly important now that the funding of entrepreneurial ventures is fundamentally
changing thanks to crowdfunding and other new mechanisms. What is the form of the
business relationship between the entrepreneur and his or her family/friend investors, and how
is this relationship negotiated, monitored, and enforced? Also, what about the foolsare they
really fools? Perhaps. But, while investing in particular entrepreneurial ventures may not
make economic sense (hence the label “fools”), maybe these investors have non-economic
motivations that justify these investments. Who are these so-called fools, and why do they
take such risks to invest in early-stage ventures? Perhaps they are intrinsically motivated, are
prosocially motivated, or are genuinely fools. Furthermore, future research can go deeper into
explaining the (sequence of) activities involved in the resourcefulness of bootstrapping and
discover why some actors are more resourceful than others. Such research may offer
prescriptions for how entrepreneurs can more effectively engage in bootstrapping to fund their
entrepreneurial endeavors.
Finally, future research can provide more richness to our understanding of why some
entrepreneurs learn more from their experience than others, and how they do it. That is, while
we are gaining a deeper understanding of the actions and cognitions that lead to learning and
vice versa, more can be done to identify and explain the learning tools entrepreneurs use, the
contexts that facilitate or obstruct the use of these learning tools, and the processes of
collective learning, all of which are in an environment characterized by high uncertainty, high
dynamism, and considerable time pressure. In addition to research on learning processes,
future research needs to explain the content of what is learned. For example, what concepts
and relationships constitute entrepreneurs’ (individually and as a team) cognitive maps, how
do these cognitive maps change with the pursuit of potential opportunities, and how does this
learning manifest itself in subsequent entrepreneurial action? Research on entrepreneurial
cognition (Gregoire et al., 2011) and team cognition (West, 2007) and the formation of simple
rules in new ventures (Bingham & Eisenhardt, 2011) may bring about the inspiration for
studies on how entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial teams, and new ventures learn. For example,
how do simple rules change over time? Entrepreneurs may learn that they need to make their
rules simpler.
Future research has the opportunity to explore mutual social learning, particularly
around the co-creation of a potential opportunity (see Shepherd, 2015). For example, future
research may explore the social learning that occurs between an entrepreneur and a
community of inquiry as well as the way that social learning occurs through a potential
opportunity and leads to changes to the nature of the potential opportunity, the nature of the
entrepreneur’s knowledge, and the collective knowledge of the community of inquiry. Indeed,
entrepreneurship scholars have a unique opportunity to explore learning across levels of
analysis during the creation of those levels. For example, what learning takes place before an
entrepreneur creates a founding team; before the founding team hires employees, institutes a
structure and strategy, and engages in other organizing mechanisms; and before the
organization chooses to pursue additional potential opportunities, makes alliances, and
engages different stakeholders? Future research can explore how learning at any one level
impacts the learning at other levels (and stages of the meta-framework) and investigate the
mechanisms that facilitate this learning transference or dispersion. For example, once an
entrepreneur has formed a founding team, he or she is likely to also learn from the team, and
both are likely to learn from the organization they build.
Literature Review
The third stage is the performance of entrepreneurial endeavorsthe
accomplishments (or lack thereof) from exploiting a potential opportunity or multiple
potential opportunities. DVs for the performance of entrepreneurial endeavors are those
related to (1) individual-level accomplishments, (2) general firm-level accomplishments, (3)
firm-level accomplishments specific to entry; (5) firm-level accomplishments specific to
innovation; and (6) regional performance.
First, studies of individual-level performancean individual’s accomplishments
include success in setting up a new venture (Katre & Salipante, 2012) or in transitioning to
self-employment (Blumberg & Pfann, 2016). More fine-grained performance outcomes
include accurate identification and evaluation (Baron & Henry, 2010) and realization of a
(potential) opportunity (Navis & Ozbek, 2016). These individual-level performance outcomes
may take place within different organizational contexts, such as within new ventures (Baron
& Henry, 2010) or before an organization is created (Navis & Ozbek, 2016). Other studies on
performance DVs have focused on the rewards from entrepreneurial efforts, such as various
financial (Bublitz & Noseleit, 2014) and psychological (Hmieleski & Corbett, 2008) rewards.
Second, a common DV for general firm-related performancea firm’s
accomplishmentsis firm survival, including keeping the business alive both before (Brush,
et al., 2008) and after launch (Wennberg, et al., 2016). Growth is another common DV in
studies exploring firm-related entrepreneurial performance, often measured as growth in
employees (Davis & Shaver, 2012), sales (Delmar & Wiklund, 2008), or assets (Thapa, 2015).
Other DVs in this theme include financial and economic performance outcomes, such as
market value (Zott & Amit, 2007), earnings (Michael, 2003), profits (Jacobides & Winter,
2007), profit margin (Song, et al., 2010), and various accounting ratios (Meoli, et al., 2013).
Research has also dealt with specific aspects of firm performance, such as success into foreign
markets (Bruneel et al., 2010) and with the performance of firms that facilitate entrepreneurial
performance, such as, business angels (Huang & Pearce, 2015) and venture capital investors
(Dimov & Shepherd, 2005), investor returns at IPO (Florin, 2005), and the success of
universities in generating spin-off companies (Lockett, et al., 2003).
Third, studies of performance specific to entry have relied on DVs that include
individual-level outcomes, such as self-employment duration after entry (Bird & Wennberg,
2016), general satisfaction (Van Gelderen, et al., 2005), and earnings satisfaction during the
first years of operations (Vivarelli, 2004). Studies of entry performance also include firm-
level outcomes, such as time to first sale (Marvel, et al., 2018), product launch (Beckman,
2006), operational status (Edelman & YliRenko, 2010), and positive cash flow (Davidsson &
Honig, 2003). But, there is also the risk of excess entry (Hogarth & Karelaia, 2012).
Fourth, studies of performance specific to innovation concern financial aspects, such
as earnings from a specific invention (Åstebro & Yong, 2016), licensing revenue (Lejarraga &
Martinez-Ros, 2014), and percentage sales from new products (McKelvie, et al., 2017). Non-
financial aspects of innovation performance include perceived innovative performance
comparisons with competitors (Collewaert & Sapienza, 2016), expert ratings of invention
quality (Åstebro & Yong, 2016), survival in the marketplace (Robson, et al., 2012), and
increases in firms’ knowledge capital (Tan, et al., 2015). Other studies explaining innovation
have investigated quantity in terms of the number of innovations generated (Baron & Tang,
2011), R&D projects completed (Liu, et al., 2010), new products developed (Lejarraga &
Martinez-Ros, 2014), patent activity (Mueller, 2014), and novelty (Park & Tzabbar, 2016).
Finally, studies have explored regional performanceaccomplishments of
entrepreneurial activities in a geographic location. On the regional level, studies have
investigated DVs such as job creation by new ventures (Malchow-Møller, et al., 2011),
financial returns from entrepreneurship (Tamvada, 2010), resilience toward export shocks
(Liang & Goetz, 2016), and innovativeness (Samila & Sorenson, 2017). Formal economic
equilibrium models or simulation models have been presented to explain regional growth in
startups (Gries & Naudé, 2010), gross domestic product (Minniti & Lévesque, 2010),
intergenerational fairness (Hunt & Fund, 2016), social welfare (Norbäck, et al., 2016),
prosperity and peace (Tobias, et al., 2013), and the scale of non-profit activity (Nissan, et al.,
2012). On the country level, studies have explored growth in GDP (Van Stel, et al., 2005),
innovativeness (Anokhin & Schulze, 2009), and happiness (Naudé, et al., 2014).
Future Research Opportunities
The most common level of analysis in entrepreneurship performance research is the
firm level. In addition to the commonly used performance variables of sales or employment
growth, growth in market share could be an indicator of competitive advantage that fits the
emphasis on market dominance among new high-tech ventures. We identified several studies
using growth as a DV but none that assessed ventures’ market share. Regarding stakeholder-
related performance, we were unable to find a single entrepreneurship study examining
employees’ performance as an outcome. Particularly in growing and knowledge-intensive
firms, it appears that employees are extremely important stakeholders and their performance is
a critical proximal outcome. The extent to which entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial firms can
manage employees to retain high-performing employees, compensate desired employee
behaviors, and otherwise facilitate employee well-being is likely critical to firm performance.
For example, how do employee compensation and well-being relate to the infusion of venture
capital funding, or does rapid growth affect employee retention?
Future research is also likely to contribute to the entrepreneurship literature by
explaining multiple performance DVs. For example, while much of the innovation
performance research has concerned the quantity of innovation output, it is rare for studies to
examine multiple outputs simultaneously. For example, it would be interesting to study the
correlation between the number of products developed and the number of products introduced
as well as the factors that enhance and reduce the launching of new products in the market.
Further, unless studies are confined to strictly defined industries that focus solely on either
process or product innovation, it is important to study product and process innovations
simultaneously. These two DVs convey different information, and resource-strapped ventures
may trade one for the other. Also, we need consistency regarding whether DVs concern
innovation input, output, or performance. Many studies have used concepts like
innovativeness or innovation without explicating how they relate to the innovation process.
There is also promise in research focusing on the innovativeness of the organization rather
than the products or servicesthat is, the extent to which new organizations deviate from
existing norms in their industry (Jennings et al., 2016). Such research points to the tension
between Schumpeter’s (1934) radically innovative entrepreneur on the one hand and new
venture’s struggle for legitimacy on the other (Aldrich, 1999).
Going forward, we believe that the field would benefit from conjointly examining
performance across different levels of analysis and the performance themes identified above.
The expectation is not necessarily to find high correlations but rather to provide a more
comprehensive reflection of entrepreneurial performance. The goals of entrepreneurs vary
considerably, which speaks to the value of such broad performance assessments. For example,
it is well established that many enter into entrepreneurship because they want to be
independent (Carter, et al., 2003). Such goals may be aligned less well with achieving high
growth, and therefore the alignment of goals and outcomes might be the key to understanding
performance. Regarding entrepreneur-related performance, we believe that a broad view of
well-being could make an important contribution to our current understanding of the various
aspects of performance. While each aspect of satisfaction is relevant and important, global
assessments of well-being (Ryff & Keyes, 1995) are also welcome because they do not isolate
the entrepreneur from his or her non-work life.
Literature Review
DVs for the performance of entrepreneurial endeavors refer to research focused on
outcomes related to the context (environment external to) in which the entrepreneurial actor is
embedded. The DVs capturing these contextual attributes are those related to (1) institutional
context, (2) resource context, and (3) regional context.
First, research has explored the entrepreneurial context in terms of change in
institutional form and ideational change. Studies of institutional changemajor differences
over time in the structural patterns of interaction between organizationshave analyzed how
entrepreneurial activity creates new groups of organizations (Lechner & Leyronas, 2009), new
networks of inter-organizational activity (Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2006), and new organizational
forms (Suddaby & Greenwood, 2005). Research on the institutional context of
entrepreneurship has also studied DVs related to entrepreneurs’ adoption of field-configuring
strategies designed to disrupt existing patterns of interaction between producers, suppliers,
and consumers (McInerney, 2008); support from intermediaries (Cobb, et al., 2016); and
field-configuring opportunities emerging from the margins (Castel & Friedberg, 2010) or the
center (Greenwood & Suddaby, 2006) of a given organizational field.
Relatedly, researchers have studied DVs to capture ideational changedifferences
over time in the social meanings attributed to a given product category, organization, or
institutional practicein terms of entrepreneurs’ ability to generate novel product categories
(Montauti & Wezel, 2016); changing institutionalized business practices, such as bookkeeping
(Quattrone, 2015); resistance to illegitimate institutions (Sutter, et al., 2013); and narrative
strategies to acquire legitimacy (Garud, et al., 2014). Related research has focused on
entrepreneurs’ professionalization (Croidieu & Kim, 2017), acquisition of status (Waldron, et
al., 2015), identity (Fisher, et al., 2016), use of persuasive rhetoric (Waldron, et al., 2016), and
legitimating framing (Gurses & Ozcan, 2015). Collectively, these studies have identified a
range of techniques and strategies often described as forms of institutional work through
which entrepreneurs achieve success by changing institutionalized meaning systems and
taken-for-granted ways of interpreting the social world.
Second, resource contexts are simply the different environments in which
entrepreneurial actors acquire and allocate inputs necessary for the exploitation of a potential
opportunity. Kuratko, Fisher, Bloodgood, and Hornsby (2017) provided a theoretical
overview of this research, observing that entrepreneurs in ecosystems with high levels of
technological novelty face greater legitimacy demands for accessing resources. O'Neil and
Ucbasaran (2016) similarly observed that resource allocations mature in lock-step with the
growing legitimacy of an entrepreneurial venture. Studies have investigated funding outcomes
related to venture capital including the amount of funding raised (Balboa & Martí, 2007), the
likelihood an entrepreneurial firm will receive an interview request from a venture capitalist
(Wang, 2016), and speed of access (Zhang, 2011), the pre-money valuation upon which the
venture capital deal is based (Zhang, et al., 2016), and funding from government venture
capital (Guerini & Quas, 2016).
Similarly, research has investigated the resource context in terms informal venture
capital. For example, business angel studies have investigated DVs such as entrepreneurial
firms’ likelihood of receiving a business angel’s offer (Maxwell & Lévesque, 2014); funding
(Becker-Blease & Sohl, 2007), including altruistic investments (Klyver, et al., 2017); and
rejection (Carpentier & Suret, 2015). Huang and Pearce (2015) explained angels’ tradeoff
between objective business viability data and subjective assessments of entrepreneurs in
investment decisions as well as “investment home runs,” and Parhankangas and Ehrlich
(2014) explained entrepreneurs’ progress in the business angel fundraising process. A more
recent source of raising funding is crowdfunding. DVs in crowdfunding research include the
extent of backer support for a crowdfunding project (Kuppuswamy & Bayus, 2017), received
funding or not (Parhankangas & Renko, 2017), the amount of funding received and whether it
reaches a pre-set target or not (Josefy, et al., 2017), as well as whether crowdfunding
facilitates future venture capital investments (Roma, et al., 2017).
Studies on debt funding provide insight into the resource context and have included
DVs like applying for a loan (Blumberg & Letterie, 2008), receiving bank financing
(Eddleston, et al., 2014), and being denied credit (Cowling, et al., 2016). Of particular interest
to entrepreneurship scholars exploring debt-related outcomes is the availability and impact of
micro-financesmall loans offered to the poor by micro-loan organizations with the purpose
of alleviating financial constraints so the borrower can create and grow his or her local
business. Investigations of micro-loans have focused on the supply side regarding the
program’s attractiveness among prosocial investors (Allison, et al., 2015) and the amount of
commercial and public capital acquired by micro-loan organizations (Zhao & Lounsbury,
2016). Related DVs include the speed of obtaining micro-finance (Allison, et al., 2013) and its
price (Sun & Im, 2015).
Third, entrepreneurship research has been interested in explaining the regional context.
Studies of regional engagement have included DVs related to latent entrepreneurship, such as
the proportion of residents wishing, planning, or otherwise intending to become self-employed
(Masuda, 2006). Outcomes also include entrepreneurial actions in a region, such as the rate of
self-employment (Acs, et al., 2009), as well as the levels of growth-oriented (Levie & Autio,
2011), nascent (Aidis, et al., 2012), necessity- versus opportunity-oriented (McMullen, et al.,
2008), financially successful (Henrekson & Sanandaji, 2014), and high-quality (Hafer &
Jones, 2015) entrepreneurship. Studies comparing regions within a focal country have
typically focused on the proportion of individuals with business income (Bruce & Deskins,
2012); the number of new (Rogers, 2012) family or non-family founded (Bird & Wennberg,
2014), or small and medium-sized firms (Gohmann, et al., 2008); and, more recently, the
proportion of ventures achieving an IPO or a significant acquisition (Guzman & Stern, 2016).
Studies of regional engagement have also explained regional differences in fear of failure
(Wyrwich, et al., 2016) and ethical attitudes (Bucar, et al., 2003).
Furthermore, studies have focused on DVs related to regional trends in terms of
building entrepreneurial knowledge in a region (Qian & Acs, 2013), bidirectional venture
capital investments across regions and countries (Iriyama, et al., 2010), as well as academic
entrepreneurs’ knowledge flows (Hayter, 2016) and partner choices (Zhang, et al., 2016).
Research has also investigated DVs related to entrepreneurship-related policy differences
between regions such as differences in the bankruptcy laws (Peng, et al., 2010) or governance
arrangements (Parker, 2008). Research on regional direction has also investigated location
choices among new ventures (Dahl & Sorenson, 2012).
Future Research Opportunities
There has been considerable recent scholarly attention on the context in which
entrepreneurial endeavors are embedded, and there remains much to learn. Future research
opportunities include (1) the role of the institutional context, (2) the process of building and
losing legitimacy, (3) tapping into the crowd, (4) narrower regions, and (5) the role of an
entrepreneur’s family or non-work context.
First, there are promising research opportunities to explore further the role of the
institutional context on the entrepreneurial endeavor. For example, although opportunity
recognition is a well-established outcome variable in traditional entrepreneurship research
(see section above), explaining opportunity recognition is also important in the context of
institutional entrepreneurship, in which theorists struggle with a critical question, often termed
the paradox of embeddedness (Battilana, et al., 2009): if institutions are so cognitively
overpowering, how is it that some actors can identify opportunities for change? Early research
on this question has pointed to the construct of reflexivity as a key attribute of some
institutional entrepreneurs whobecause of their social position, prior experience, or
structural location in an organizational fieldare better able than others to identify
opportunities to change existing social arrangements (Viale, et al., 2017). However, we know
little about institutional reflexivity. How do some actors (individuals or organizations) acquire
the social knowledge needed to understand the power structures underpinning existing
institutional arrangements? Similarly, how do those actors acquire the social skills necessary
to effect change in the institutional environment? If reflexivity is a skill acquired through
social processes, perhaps we can teach (or otherwise help people develop) this skill to better
interact or change the external environment.
Relatedly, another promising area of future research is to focus on the nexus between
individual and institutional acts of entrepreneurship (Alvarez, et al., 2015). What social,
environmental, and political conditions are most likely to contribute to a social culture of
individual innovation? Reciprocally, what configuration of individual attributes, cultural
characteristics, and social values are most likely to generate institutional change? How do
individuals and institutions co-evolve in contexts that generate or deny innovation? Another
promising area of research is to focus on outcomes that promote less rationalized definitions
of entrepreneurial success. The neo-institutional theory is based on Weberian assumptions of
ever-expanding rationality in business practices. However, some emerging studies on
institutional entrepreneurship have pointed to examples of entrepreneurial success that defy
this traditional model of global economic rationality (Schulze, et al., 2003). Therefore, future
research opportunities exist to compare and contrast the differences in entrepreneurial action
that exist in small- versus large-scale entrepreneurial ventures. Is entrepreneurship in a craft-
oriented business different from entrepreneurship in a large bureaucracy? How does
entrepreneurship in a profession or a small business differ from that in a corporation? If they
are indeed different, are they incompatible with each other? More significantly, is
entrepreneurship an act of logical rationalitya scienceor is it a somewhat irrational act of
creativity and interpretive insight?
Second, two important opportunities for future research emerge on legitimacy
legitimacy as a process and losing legitimacy. Regarding gaining legitimacy, the trajectory of
current research describes an important shift in understanding legitimacy first as a property or
capacity of an entrepreneurial venture to an emerging new characterization of legitimacy as a
process. More importantly, recent research has addressed the social context which generates
legitimacy and the way legitimation processes change as an entrepreneurial venture matures
(Suddaby, et al., 2017). Viewing legitimacy as a process holds some important
methodological implications for entrepreneurship research. More specifically, considering
legitimacy a process of perception or judgement formation that involves interaction between
an entrepreneur and key stakeholders, researchers can analyze legitimacy acquisition using
deliberation mappinga technique used to systematically evaluate the interactive processes
by which dyads or small groups come to decisions on complex and ambiguous subjects
(Burgess et al., 2007). Viewing legitimacy as a multi-modal process spurs entrepreneurship
research to see legitimacy as adhering to the attributes of the product or innovation offered by
an entrepreneur, and also to consider legitimacy features of the entrepreneur role more
abstractly. How has the entrepreneur been legitimated in public discourse? Have the
legitimating cultural attributes of the entrepreneur changed over time? Do the attributes
change across cultures?
Once we gain a deeper understanding of legitimacy as a process rather than a property,
researchers can become more creative in constructing studies that attend to how
entrepreneurial actors lose legitimacy. To date, most research has focused on the acquisition
of legitimacy, particularly during the start-up phase of entrepreneurship. Some studies,
however, have begun to examine the acquisition of legitimacy by “distancing oneself from
failure” (Kibler, et al., 2017). A logical extension of this line of inquiry is to examine the
processes by which legitimacy erodes or is lost. For example, we understand that storytelling
is an important activity nascent entrepreneurs use to gain legitimacy (Gartner, 2007), but what
are the consequences for the entrepreneur when his or her projective stories begin to lose
credibility (Garud et al., 2014). Similarly, while we understand that entrepreneurs acquire
legitimacy as a complex judgment based on an array of technical, normative, and moral
factors, we know little about the triggers for a complete loss of legitimacy. For example, to
what degree does an entrepreneur’s stigmatized past (e.g., multiple failed ventures)
compromise the success of a technically superior innovation?
Third, the advent of crowdfunding has rejuvenated research on funding outcomes, and
there are more opportunities for contributions. Future contributions may come from additional
DVs that capture this funding context on opportunity refinement, community formation and
engagement, and social/environmental benefits. For example, crowdfunding builds
communities, but how are they initiated, grown, and changed as a result of their involvement
with the entrepreneurial venture and the crowdfunding process? Beyond venture-level
measures of funding success, future research can also help explain the outcomes of
crowdfunding campaigns as they change the social, environmental, and economic
environment. Indeed, research can explore previously important studies (e.g., from the 1980s
or 1990s) to determine if they are still relevant or explanatory in modern times. For example,
perhaps the DVs of the 1980s related to venture capital, business angels, IPOs,
communication strategies, business plans, and so on are no longer relevant (or take a different
form) in today’s world of low start-up costs, crowdfunding, acquisitions, lean canvas, and
social media. Future research can explore the relevance of previous entrepreneurship theories
and adapt them given the changed economic, social, and political environment.
Fourth, while there is a relative abundance of cross-country studies among regional
studies of entrepreneurship, there is still a dearth of research looking at smaller regional units,
such as states, cities, and neighborhoods. Since much of the literature strongly emphasizes
geographic-clustered networks, entrepreneurship scholars could further benefit from
employing social network models to study various regional outcomes of entrepreneurship. For
example, how do the “weak” and “strong” network ties important for entrepreneurship differ
across regional units, how are they affected by the infrastructure and institutional conditions
in those regions, and do such network ties affect entrepreneurial processes and outcomes
differentially across regions? Further, there are opportunities to investigate long-term rather
than short-term regional changes. Entrepreneurial endeavors may spur the emergence of
industrial clusters (Feldman, 2014) that are over and above explanations by agglomeration
economics (Buenstorf & Klepper, 2009). A long-term view may further explain the
emergence and development of a region’s entrepreneurial practices and culture over time. The
joint area of history and regional outcomes of entrepreneurship is an emerging and exciting
domain for future research. For example, how do more or less “unentrepreneurial” regions
slowly change to become less or more “entrepreneurial”? Do regional cultures and narratives
of the past affect contemporary entrepreneurship in those regions? Furthermore, we see new
avenues for regional outcomes of entrepreneurship that move beyond the traditional
comparison of various regional units toward looking at distal cross-national and cross-regional
linkages (potentially fueled by new communication technologies) to investigate topics like the
emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems, internationalization rates among new ventures, and
the formation of social ventures.
Finally, there has been little research on those non-entrepreneurs psychologically
impacted by the entrepreneurial context. An obvious candidate is the entrepreneur’s spouse
but could also include funders, customers, and other stakeholders. For example, how and why
do the entrepreneur’s actions with the firm influence his or her spouse’s well-being,
commitment to the entrepreneur/marriage, and emotions (Dahl, et al., 2010)? Further, how do
a spouse’s psychological outcomes influence entrepreneurial outcomes, including the
entrepreneur’s psychological outcomes?
Across the period of the review, there are some important trends. First, in reviewing
the DVs in entrepreneurship research from 2001-2018, we noticed some larger societal trends.
For example, we find no DVs specifically related to e-commerce, which was hot until the dot-
com bust in 2000, the year before the start of our review period, while DVs related to
crowdfunding become popular in the most recent years of the review. Second, performance is
a popular category of DVs, but its dominance appears to be waning. A particularly interesting
trend is that during the review period (2001-2017), the relative share of studies using
performance as a DV decreased considerably. During the first six years of the seventeen-year
period, performance dominated the field with 30% of all entrepreneurship studies using
performance as their DV. Given the large number of DVs examined in the field, this
represents a large share. During the final five years, this share has decreased to 16%. We
believe that this is a healthy development. People initiate, engage in, perform, and leave,
entrepreneurship for a whole host of different reasons (e.g., DeTienne et al., 2015). Greater
diversity in outcomes studied by scholars, reflective of this diversity among entrepreneurs,
provides for research relevance and unique entrepreneurship insights and theorizing. It also
allows for greater consistency regarding theories in use. For example, well-being is a common
DV in much psychological theory and increased use of wellbeing as a DV in entrepreneurship
research from a psychological perspective signals consistency with such trends. Third,
although still relatively small in number, there has been a steady increase in studies explaining
motivation-related DVs. More generally, while psychology-based studies have been
contributing to our knowledge of entrepreneurship for some time (and increasingly so), it
appears that the sociological perspective has entered and is gaining momentum as reflected in
the growth of DVs related to institutions and legitimacy. Finally, the number of
entrepreneurship papers published in the leading management and entrepreneurship journals
has increased substantially. This increase reflects growing importance of, and interest in,
entrepreneurship as a phenomenon and the growing rigor of research in the discipline.
To conclude, we return to the conversation that motivated this review in which a
strategy colleague lamented the lack of a single, identifying DV. The review indicates, that,
indeed, entrepreneurship has a plethora of DVs. We remain convinced it is important to
celebrate this scope. Indeed, we hope that this study encourages the proliferation of more
DVs. We believe that paradigm strength emerges not from the de-legitimation of competing
DVs, but rather by the manifestation of multiple variables that fully capture the breadth and
depth, the richness and complexity, of the phenomena under study. In an ever-changing world,
entrepreneurship is a societal mechanism dealing with changing issues and appearing in (and
even creating) new contexts. As social science scholars, we must observe and explain the
world around us, and entrepreneurship scholars are changing along with the manifestations of
the phenomena they wish to explain. Indeed, it is an exciting time to be an entrepreneurship
scholar, and the future looks bright. Happy exploration!
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... Entrepreneurship is concerned with the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of profitable opportunities (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), and individual engagement in the process is a joint function of both individual and contextual factors (Lim et al., 2016;Shepherd et al., 2019). Previous research has tended to concentrate on individual characteristics in explaining re-entry after failure (Baù et al., 2017;Espinoza-Benavides & Díaz, 2019;Stam et al., 2009); however, surprisingly, comparisons of entrepreneurial engagement across those with and without entrepreneurial experience have received limited attention (Gottschalk & Müller, 2022;Hessels et al., 2011;Nielsen & Sarasvathy, 2016). ...
... However, this assumption is not so obvious since there are different costs of failure that have not necessarily been overcome when failed entrepreneurs decide to re-engage in entrepreneurship. Additionally, individual engagement in the process is a joint function of both individual and contextual factors (Lim et al., 2016;Shepherd et al., 2019). The extent to which entrepreneurs bear the burden of failure depends on institutional conditions, which vary across countries and regions (Lee et al., 2021). ...
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Despite the extensive literature on the relationship between entrepreneurship and institutions, there is limited knowledge of the relationship between institutions and engagement after failure. This study compares the entrepreneurial engagement of entrepreneurs who have recently experienced failure and individuals without entrepreneurial experience, emphasizing the interaction of government policies and programmes (formal institutions) and individualistic/collectivist cultures (informal institutions) with business failure and its impact on entrepreneurial engagement. We test our hypotheses using multilevel analysis on a large cross-sectional sample that combines individual-level data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) database with country-level data from 49 economies. We provide evidence of selection bias for the entrepreneurial engagement of entrepreneurs after failures and of the role of culture as a significant aspect of re-entry into entrepreneurship. Therefore, our evidence helps reinforce the view that postfailure entrepreneurs are a special group of entrepreneurs and validates the contribution of institutional economic theory in explaining this phenomenon, especially the key role of informal institutions.
... Even though this was not evident in my data, I strongly encourage future research to develop these findings further. New venture development presents a complex process: behavior that can have positive implications for specific outcomes (in this case, task re-allocation) can have dysfunctional impacts in other dimensions (e.g., team member satisfaction or mental health) (Brattstro¨m & Wennberg, 2022;Shepherd et al., 2019). Exploring such alternative outcomes would be an important avenue for future research. ...
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This study contributes a novel perspective on how new venture teams navigate task re-allocation during the new venture development phase. It highlights the relevance of task re-allocation conflict, shows how “negative affect expectations” shape the unfolding of such conflicts, and demonstrates why acting out conflict and its associated negative affect can enable team members to make substantial task re-allocations instead of symbolic ones. The analysis has implications for two bodies of research, which have previously not been considered in tandem: (1) research on task (re-)allocation, professionalization, and structural imprinting in new ventures, and (2) research on team conflict.
... These were identified by the previous research on antecedents of entrepreneurial career choice (Simoes et al., 2016;Przepiorka, 2017;Nguyen et al., 2022) and include primary individual characteristics, family background, personality characteristics, human capital, health condition, nationality, ethnicity as well as access to resources. The empirical research studying drivers of entrepreneurship performance acknowledged the importance of the relevant years of experience together with entrepreneurship-specific human capital, known as the jacks of all trades hypothesis (Åstebro and Thompson, 2011), type of occupation and working hours dedicated to pursuing a business (Hårsman and Mattsson, 2021), as well as heterogeneity across the entrepreneurship types, individual characteristics and context (Shepherd et al., 2019;Dvouletý et al., 2021;Jiao et al., 2021). ...
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This study aims to expand knowledge on the nexus between religious attitudes and entrepreneurship performance. Using an international sample of 1,162 European youth entrepreneurs collected in 2016 in eleven countries, we test the increasing effect of spiritual capital on business performance and its heterogeneity across religions. The results from the multivariate regression analyses show only modest effects of religious attitudes on youth entrepreneurship performance, measured by employment creation, the number of employees, income decile and perceived business growth. Still, we observe some heterogeneous effects concerning Roman Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu churches on some of the analysed variables. Despite the perceived limitations, we provide recommendations for future research, pointing out the need to further explore different types of religions concerning the entrepreneur's performance, innovative behaviour and personal well-being.
... However, none of the existing studies has investigated the constraints lying in entrepreneurship within the particular context of BOP. While a contextualized view of entrepreneurship is being encouraged by scholars in recent years (Shepherd et al., 2019;Welter, 2011), a comprehensive review of literature on what factors are hindering entrepreneurship at the BOP context is essential at the moment. ...
Purpose Driving economic development at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) is an enduring global challenge. While the market-based approach places hope on entrepreneurship as a major impetus to drive the underdeveloped economy, the performance of entrepreneurial businesses and their impact on poverty reduction are sometimes below expectations. This paper seeks to examine the factors that may be hindering entrepreneurship within the BOP context. This paper presents preliminary answers and provides research suggestions related to this question. Design/methodology/approach In order to identify the reasons behind the underperformance of entrepreneurship at the BOP, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to see what is already known about this puzzle. Findings By reviewing extant literature, four clusters of factors were found to shape entrepreneurial activities at BOP: (1) Individual-level factors may be restraining entrepreneurial activities within BOP context, (2) gender inequality at BOP is hindering female entrepreneurship, (3) insufficient institutional support is holding back entrepreneurial activities in BOP and (4) business development initiatives are making multi-faceted impacts on entrepreneurial activities in BOP. Originality/value This paper contributes to theory in that it is the first comprehensive review of literature on constraints of entrepreneurship in the context of BOP. In investigating influential factors of entrepreneurial success in the BOP context, the authors recognize four major influential forces that are shaping entrepreneurial processes at the bottom of the pyramid and further propose three directions of future research that are worthy for further exploration.
... Entrepreneurship has been defined as a business development through resources investment aimed at reaching an objective or opportunity [170,206]. Recent studies argued that entrepreneurship was a possible solution to environmental degradation [167]. Nonetheless, the traditional approach only considered economic benefits [213]. ...
Entrepreneurship is recently viewed as a motor of economic, social, and environmental development. As a result, countries and educational institutions are looking toward implementing entrepreneurial education among young people, such as scholars. Nonetheless, it remains weak since students’ intention to become entrepreneurs is not substantial. This chapter aims to understand how scholars’ educational systems, and government can increase green entrepreneurial intention. A worldwide comparative analysis review was made to determine the current practices in different parts of the globe. National, private, and educational institutions play a crucial role in developing green entrepreneurial intention. Students look for the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, and an excellent ecosystem to develop a new venture.KeywordsGreenYouthYoung consumerManagerEcologySustainableCircularSDGEntrepreneurEntrepreneurshipBusinessInternational business
... Kuratko and Audretsch (2009) viewed entrepreneurship as a dynamic process of vision, change, and creation, including the passion for creating and implementing new ideas and solutions. Entrepreneurship requires the initiation, participation, and success of entrepreneurial endeavours rooted in environments (Shepherd et al., 2019). ...
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This paper investigates the role of personality traits in nurturing entrepreneurial intention in South Korea and Vietnam. We developed a research model to examine the integrated influence of both positive entrepreneurial characteristics and dark triad on entrepreneurial intention in South Korea and Vietnam. Primary data was collected from 550 students in South Korea and 700 students in Vietnam using the convenient sampling method in a self-administered questionnaire survey. We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse structural relationships between positive entrepreneurial attributes, dark triads, and entrepreneurial intention in two samples. T-tests were also performed to explore any differences in students' entrepreneurial intention in South Korea and Vietnam regarding their family background and gender. Findings showed that positive entrepreneurial attributes and dark triads influence entrepreneurial intention differently in the two countries. While the dark triad mainly influenced Vietnamese students' intention to startup, Korean students received more impact from the positive entrepreneurial characteristics such as risk tolerance, locus of control, and entrepreneurial alertness. Surprisingly, both gender and family tradition do not affect students' entrepreneurial intention.
... Another promising meso-level factor is the entrepreneurial team. Founders often create their ventures in teams and learn from each other to define their social identities (Shepherd et al. 2019;Leitch and Harrison 2016). ...
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How does the grand challenge of refugees influence nascent entrepreneurs in host countries? To explore this question, we build on social identity theory and analyse how the 2015 European refugee event is related to the strength of different founder social identities (i.e. Darwinian, Communitarian, and Missionary founder social identities) of nascent entrepreneurs in the countries accommodating the refugees. Using a dataset of 6,096 nascent entrepreneurs from 24 European countries, we reveal a positive relationship between the refugee event and the strength of the Communitarian founder social identity. This relationship is even stronger when the previous percentage of foreign migrants in a country is lower and is mediated by the human health and social work industry. Interestingly, we do not find significant relationships between the refugee event and the strengths of the Darwinian or Missionary founder social identity, respectively. Hence, refugees as a grand challenge are likely to have divergent influences on different types of entrepreneurship in society.
... Although contextualization has become increasingly important in entrepreneurial theorizing, critics still argue that authors pay inadequate attention to its implications for theory (Welter, 2011;Zahra, 2007; for reviews, see Shepherd et al., 2019;Welter et al., 2019), particularly about a paper's depth-breadth terrain coverage and ratio. Contextualization (or context) encompasses the "where" of entrepreneurship, including, for example, the "stage of life-cycles of industries and markets" (business context), "structure of networks" (social context), "characteristics of local communities and regions" (spatial context), and "societal attitudes and norms" (institutional context) (Welter, 2011: 168). ...
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While several editors and scholars have shared critical insights into the craft of writing a theory paper, there is an essential aspect of publishing a theory paper that is less understood: the process by which expert reviewers and authors engage in the review process, which has a significant influence on theory. We examine critiques and responses to entrepreneurship theorizing to identify three major challenges of entrepreneurship theorizing: (1) the scope of the entrepreneurship paper’s theorizing being either too narrow or too shallow; (2) the common features of the paper’s contextualization, boundary conditions, and time considerations ; and (3) the “point of view” of the entrepreneurship paper’s perspective —theoretical, philosophical, level, and purpose . This chapter offers a framework that guides (1) entrepreneurship scholars to find a balance to maximize their contributions and (2) reviewers and editors on managing the revise-and-resubmit process to advance the entrepreneurship field.
... Although contextualization has become increasingly important in entrepreneurial theorizing, critics still argue that authors pay inadequate attention to its implications for theory Zahra, 2007; for reviews, see Shepherd et al., 2019;Welter et al., 2019), particularly about a paper's depth-breadth terrain coverage and ratio. Contextualization (or context) encompasses the "where" of entrepreneurship, including, for example, the "stage of life-cycles of industries and markets" (business context), "structure of networks" (social context), "characteristics of local communities and regions" (spatial context), and "societal attitudes and norms" (institutional context) (Welter, 2011: 168). ...
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One of the key components of the modern industrial establishment is technology. Technology application has evolved into a technology-based industry and is essential to entrepreneurship. It's difficult to distinguish between entrepreneurship and technopreneurship on their own. Every entrepreneur must be a technopreneur, and every technopreneur must also be an entrepreneur, according to modern technology development. The aims of this research paper are the following: 1) Define what Entrepreneurship and Technopreneurship is, 2) Provide related and scholarly research articles on the similarities and differences of the two, 3) How Entrepreneurship differs from Technopreneurship, and vice versa.
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Business planning is central to entrepreneurship and of immense interest in explaining venture development. This study investigates how planning in different functional domains, and network reliance for domain planning, relate to speed of initial sales success. Drawing from a sample of founders in the high-technology sector, we find differential planning effects—market planning lengthens the time to sales whereas technology planning reduces time to sales. Further, we find that founders' reliance on network sources of help for market planning, relative to solo planning, simultaneously complements both market and technology planning and reduces time to sales. Our findings illustrate domain planning, network reliance, and resource complementarities as important to venture development.
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Efforts to incorporate external feedback are central to the process of entrepreneurship and that of creative work more broadly, yet because individuals may view aspects of their creative ideas as linked to their self-concepts, this can trigger resistance toward revision. Thus feedback-induced change while likely intended to increase the viability of creative ideas, might thus paradoxically undermine that viability by compromising creative workers’ associated identity-based relationships with their creative endeavors. While existing scholarship has established the importance of creative revision, research has largely overlooked how this vital process intersects with creative workers’ identities. Through a field study of 59 founders and their entrepreneurial ideas, I present an identity-based process model of creative revision that highlights differences in founders’ psychological ownership of their ideas and how those differences affect subsequent revision efforts. The emerging findings contribute to existing theory by revealing that the capacity to extend the novelty and usefulness of one’s ideas is not merely subject to informational constraints but also to identity-based constraints.
This study investigates the temporal change patterns of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) subsequent to chief executive officer (CEO) successions. Integrating prior research, we hypothesize that CEO successions lead to a change in EO and that this change exhibits an inverse U‐shape over time. Based on data collected for 67 CEO successions, our empirical results support our hypotheses, showing that successions effectuate changes in EO and tend to increase the level of EO in firms. Changes in EO peak in the second to fourth year of a new CEO's tenure, with less change before and after. We also demonstrate that changes in EO occur later but are more pronounced if the newly appointed firm leader is an outside CEO.
We introduce “exploratory perseverance” as a novel construct that captures perseverant behavior in settings in which several alternatives can be explored and evaluated. We suggest that entrepreneurs display exploratory perseverance reflected by a tendency to keep exploring broader sets of alternatives, to adopt a parallel rather than sequential approach to trial‐and‐error learning, and, after negative experiences with some alternatives, to be more inclined to give them a second chance. The results from an experimental study of 449 individuals participating in the Iowa Gambling Task indicate that more entrepreneurially experienced individuals display greater exploratory perseverance than those with little to no entrepreneurial experience.
This article uses the six key specification decisions for entrepreneurship research (purpose, theoretical perspective, focus, level of analysis, time frame, and methodology) outlined in Low and MacMillan (1988) to explore unstated assumptions in entrepreneurship theory development. An article by Shane and Venkataraman (2000), “The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research,” is analyzed and recommended as a model for clarity. A recommendation is made that the field of entrepreneurship needs to develop communities of scholars identified with specific research questions and issues.
We focus on new technology-based entrepreneurial ventures engaging in reward-based crowdfunding and examine the effect of their performance in such funding channel on the likelihood of securing subsequent funding from professional investors. We also study how this effect is influenced by the presence of patents granted for the new product idea and the entrepreneur social capital. Results from a sample of technology projects launched on Kickstarter demonstrate that pledging a higher amount of money in crowdfunding can ignite professional investors' interest and thus help secure subsequent funding. However, this positive evidence is effective only when complemented by the presence of patents or a large network of social ties.