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Entrepreneurial learning from failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

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  • Cope, Jason
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    Abstract

    This article develops a deeper conceptualisation of the process and content dimensions of learning from venture failure. I propose that recovery and re-emergence from failure is a function of distinctive learning processes that foster a range of higher-level learning outcomes. This qualitative research demonstrates that entrepreneurs learn much not only about themselves and the demise of their ventures but also about the nature of networks and relationships and the “pressure points” of venture management. This article also provides evidence that these powerful learning outcomes are future-oriented, increasing the entrepreneur's level of entrepreneurial preparedness for further enterprising activities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 604-623

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:26:y:2011:i:6:p:604-623

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

    Related research

    Keywords: Entrepreneurial learning; Venture failure; Grief recovery; Qualitative hermeneutic phenomenology; Action learning;

    References

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    1. Greening, Daniel W. & Barringer, Bruce R. & Macy, Granger, 1996. "A qualitative study of managerial challenges facing small business geographic expansion," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 233-256, July.
    2. Richard Thorpe & Jason Cope & Monder Ram & Mike Pedler, 2009. "Leadership development in small- and medium-sized enterprises: the case for action learning," Action Learning: Research and Practice, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 201-208, November.
    3. Jolanda Hessels & Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik & Peter Zwan, 2011. "Entrepreneurial exit and entrepreneurial engagement," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 447-471, August.
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    5. Harvey, Michael & Evans, Rodney, 1995. "Strategic windows in the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 331-347, September.
    6. Kisfalvi, Veronika, 2002. "The entrepreneur's character, life issues, and strategy making: A field study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 489-518, September.
    7. Schutjens, V. & Stam, F.C., 2006. "Starting Anew: Entrepreneurial Intentions and Realizations Subsequent to Business Closure," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-015-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    8. Shepherd, Dean A. & Covin, Jeffrey G. & Kuratko, Donald F., 2009. "Project failure from corporate entrepreneurship: Managing the grief process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 588-600, November.
    9. Richard Seymour, 2006. "Hermeneutic phenomenology and international entrepreneurship research," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 137-155, December.
    10. Philip R. P. Coelho & James E. McClure, 2004. "Learning from Failure," Working Papers 200402, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
    11. Brendan Burchell & Alan Hughes, 2006. "The stigma of failure: An international comparison of failure tolerance and second chancing," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp334, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    12. Holmberg, Stevan R. & Morgan, Kathryn Boe, 2003. "Franchise turnover and failure: New research and perspectives," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 403-418, May.
    13. Jack, Sarah L. & Anderson, Alistair R., 2002. "The effects of embeddedness on the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 467-487, September.
    14. Rerup, Claus, 2005. "Learning from past experience: Footnotes on mindfulness and habitual entrepreneurship," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 451-472, December.
    15. Shepherd, Dean A. & Wiklund, Johan & Haynie, J. Michael, 2009. "Moving forward: Balancing the financial and emotional costs of business failure," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 134-148, March.
    16. V. Suchitra Mouly & Jayaram K. Sankaran, 2004. "Survival and Failure of Small Businesses Arising Through Government Privatization: Insights from Two New Zealand Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(8), pages 1435-1467, December.
    17. Monder Ram & Kiran Trehan, 2009. "Critical by design: enacting critical action learning in a small business context," Action Learning: Research and Practice, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 305-318, August.
    18. Berney, L. R. & Blane, D. B., 1997. "Collecting retrospective data: Accuracy of recall after 50 years judged against historical records," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1519-1525, November.
    19. Shepherd, Dean A. & Douglas, Evan J. & Shanley, Mark, 2000. "New venture survival: Ignorance, external shocks, and risk reduction strategies," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 393-410.
    20. Gartner, William B. & Birley, Sue, 2002. "Introduction to the special issue on qualitative methods in entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 387-395, September.
    21. Aldrich, Howard E. & Cliff, Jennifer E., 2003. "The pervasive effects of family on entrepreneurship: toward a family embeddedness perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 573-596, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Parker, Simon C., 2013. "Do serial entrepreneurs run successively better-performing businesses?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 652-666.
    2. Gottschalk, Sandra & Greene, Francis J. & Höwer, Daniel & Müller, Bettina, 2014. "If you don't succeed, should you try again? The role of entrepreneurial experience in venture survival," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-009, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Jenkins, Anna S. & Wiklund, Johan & Brundin, Ethel, 2014. "Individual responses to firm failure: Appraisals, grief, and the influence of prior failure experience," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 17-33.
    4. Vera Rocha & Anabela Carneiro & Celeste Amorim Varum, 2013. "Serial entrepreneurship, learning by doing and self-selection," CEF.UP Working Papers 1312, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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