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Learning from Failure

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Author Info

  • Philip R.P. Coelho
  • James E. McClure

Abstract

Failures may lead to ultimate success in both nature and business. Just as dynamic ecosystems depend on death to replace senescent organisms with vigorous growth, the termination of uneconomic activities is essential to wealth creation. This paper explores the benefits of failures, and uses aspects of the analogy between death and business failure to analyze how failures in business economize upon resources and lead to better firms and greater efficiencies. A distinguishing feature of our work is the analytic use of competitive markets to provide insights into the processes of success and failure. Recognizable patterns of business failures are discussed in an effort to provide entrepreneurs and mangers with a basis for understanding and acting upon changing circumstances.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal American Journal of Business.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 12-20

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ajbpps:v:20:y:2005:i:1:p:12-20

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Related research

Keywords: Business failure; Failure; Wealth creation;

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References

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  1. James A Schmitz & Thomas J Holmes, 1994. "On The Turnover of Business Firms and Business Managers," Working Papers 92-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  3. Uma V. Sridharan & Lori Dickes & W. Royce Caines, 2002. "The Social Impact of Business Failure: Enron," American Journal of Business, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 17(2), pages 11-22.
  4. Boyan Jovanovic & Glenn MacDonald, 1993. "The Life-Cycle of a Competitive Industry," NBER Working Papers 4441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
  6. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-53, September.
  7. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-50, August.
  8. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
  9. John R. Baldwin & Paul K. Gorecki, 1990. "Firm Entry and Exit in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 767, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. John R. Baldwin & Paul K. Gorecki, 1991. "Firm Entry and Exit in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector, 1970-1982," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 300-323, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Cope, Jason, 2011. "Entrepreneurial learning from failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 604-623.

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