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The fallacy of "only the strong survive": The effects of extrinsic motivation on the persistence decisions for under-performing firms

  • DeTienne, Dawn R.
  • Shepherd, Dean A.
  • De Castro, Julio O.
Registered author(s):

    Under-performing firms persist even though existing theoretical perspectives indicate that they should be selected out of the market. Building upon threshold theory [Gimeno, J., Folta, T., Cooper, A., Woo, C., 1997. Survival of the fittest? Entrepreneurial human capital and the persistence of underperforming firms. Administrative Science Quarterly 42, 750-783.] and using Staw's [Staw, B.M., 1981. The escalation of commitment to a course of action. Academy of Management Review 6 (4), 577-587.] theoretical model of commitment to a course of action, we explore and test the factors that lead entrepreneurs to persist with under-performing firms. We found environmental munificence, personal investment, personal options, previous organizational success, and perceived collective efficacy impact the decision to persist with an under-performing firm. In addition, extrinsic motivation moderates those relationships. This research adds to the growing literature on highly persistent, under-performing firms and complements and extends threshold theory.

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

    Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 528-546

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:5:p:528-546
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

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