A Cognitive and Emotional Perspective of Learning.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Vision, opportunity, strategy, risk, responsibilities, fear, challenge, innovation, high flyers, success, failure, change, confidence, learning - entrepreneurship represents a difficult undertaking in which these factors form the world of the people that dare venture. Substantially different than other areas of business, entrepreneurship serves both individual goals of achievement and performance, as well as wider societal goals, such as developing new markets, mobilizing capital resources, introducing new technologies and products through innovation, and creating employment. Due to the high degree of novelty and uncertainty in which entrepreneurs act, as well as to the difficulties of starting a business, many new ventures fail in the start-up period. A loosely constructed term, 'failure' is equivalent to a variety of concepts such as bankruptcy, involuntary liquidation, financial distress, insolvency, etc. and is defined for the purpose of this paper as 'the termination of an initiative that has fallen short of its goals'. (McGrath, 1999, page 14)
Although many researchers approached the issue of when and why entrepreneurs act, the question related to how they act remains under-investigated. The goal of the present thesis is to reveal valuable findings related to entrepreneurial behaviour and learning, by looking at the little explored area of venture failure. The results collected with the use of in-depth interviews are rich in detail and information and they explore some of the most debated issues in the field of entrepreneurship. The findings presented in the current thesis, while confirming emotional differences between serial and portfolio entrepreneurs, came across some contradictory evidence and new relationships that could guide the development of future research.
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