IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The nature of entrepreneurial experience, business failure and comparative optimism

  • Ucbasaran, Deniz
  • Westhead, Paul
  • Wright, Mike
  • Flores, Manuel

Entrepreneurial (i.e. business ownership) experience may enable some entrepreneurs to temper their comparative optimism in subsequent ventures. The nature of entrepreneurial experience can shape how entrepreneurs adapt. Using data from a representative survey of 576 entrepreneurs in Great Britain, we find that experience with business failure was associated with entrepreneurs who are less likely to report comparative optimism. Portfolio entrepreneurs are less likely to report comparative optimism following failure; however, sequential (also known as serial) entrepreneurs who have experienced failure do not appear to adjust their comparative optimism. Conclusions and implications for entrepreneurs and stakeholders are discussed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 541-555

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:6:p:541-555
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Busenitz, Lowell W. & Barney, Jay B., 1997. "Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large organizations: Biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 9-30, January.
  2. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  3. Marc Gruber & Ian C. MacMillan & James D. Thompson, 2008. "Look Before You Leap: Market Opportunity Identification in Emerging Technology Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(9), pages 1652-1665, September.
  4. Paul Westhead & Deniz Ucbasaran & Mike Wright, 2003. "Differences Between Private Firms Owned by Novice, Serial and Portfolio Entrepreneurs: Implications for Policy Makers and Practitioners," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 187-200.
  5. de Meza, David & Southey, Clive, 1996. "The Borrower's Curse: Optimism, Finance and Entrepreneurship," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 375-86, March.
  6. Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
  7. Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 1998. "Novice, portfolio, and serial founders: are they different?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 173-204, May.
  8. Forbes, Daniel P., 2005. "Are some entrepreneurs more overconfident than others?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 623-640, September.
  9. Watson, Warren & Stewart, Wayne Jr. & BarNir, Anat, 2003. "The effects of human capital, organizational demography, and interpersonal processes on venture partner perceptions of firm profit and growth," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 145-164, March.
  10. Augustin Landier & David Thesmar, 2009. "Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 117-150, January.
  11. N. Higgins & Michelle St AMAND & Gary Poole, 1997. "The Controllability of Negative Life Experiences Mediates Unrealistic Optimism," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 299-323, November.
  12. Wright, Mike & Robbie, Ken & Ennew, Christine, 1997. "Venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 227-249, May.
  13. Robert A. Baron & Michael D. Ensley, 2006. "Opportunity Recognition as the Detection of Meaningful Patterns: Evidence from Comparisons of Novice and Experienced Entrepreneurs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1331-1344, September.
  14. Ucbasaran, Deniz & Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 2009. "The extent and nature of opportunity identification by experienced entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 99-115, March.
  15. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
  16. 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.
  17. Mathew L. A. Hayward & Dean A. Shepherd & Dale Griffin, 2006. "A Hubris Theory of Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 160-172, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:6:p:541-555. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.