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Failing firms and successful entrepreneurs: serial entrepreneurship as a temporal portfolio

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  • Saras Sarasvathy

    ()

  • Anil Menon
  • Graciela Kuechle

    ()

Abstract

Entrepreneurial performance is almost always confounded with firm performance. In this paper we argue for an instrumental view of the firm by formally showing that entrepreneurs can amplify their expected success rates by designing their careers as temporal portfolios that exploit contagion processes embedded in serial entrepreneurship. The advantages to holding concurrent portfolios that exploit heterogeneity are well known. The same advantages may be achieved in the serial context through contagion. Our model exploits an observation due to William Feller on the near equivalence of the two, statistically speaking. It also leads to empirically plausible implications about the size distribution of firms in the economy and illustrates the relevance of considering firms and entrepreneurs as distinct loci of analysis. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Saras Sarasvathy & Anil Menon & Graciela Kuechle, 2013. "Failing firms and successful entrepreneurs: serial entrepreneurship as a temporal portfolio," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 417-434, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:40:y:2013:i:2:p:417-434
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-011-9412-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rocha, Vera & Carneiro, Anabela & Amorim Varum, Celeste, 2015. "Serial entrepreneurship, learning by doing and self-selection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 91-106.
    2. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn Shaw, 2016. "Serial Entrepreneurship: Learning by Doing?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 217-254.
    3. Mattias Brachert & Walter Hyll, 2014. "On the Stability of Preferences: Repercussions of Entrepreneurship on Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 667, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Justo, Rachida & DeTienne, Dawn R. & Sieger, Philipp, 2015. "Failure or voluntary exit? Reassessing the female underperformance hypothesis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 775-792.
    5. Neill Stern & Metcalf Lynn & York Jonathan L., 2015. "Seeing What Others Miss: A Study of Women Entrepreneurs in High-Growth Startups," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 5(4), pages 293-322, October.
    6. Tran, Hien Thu & Carbonara, Emanuela & Santarelli, Enrico, 2017. "Determinants of Novice, Portfolio and Serial Entrepreneurship: An Occupational Choice Approach," GLO Discussion Paper Series 74, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. repec:krk:eberjl:v:4:y:2016:i:2:p:105-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Steffen Mueller & Jens Stegmaier, 2015. "Economic failure and the role of plant age and size," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 621-638, March.
    9. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:162-174 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Serial entrepreneurship; Firm performance; Industrial organization; Population ecology; Labor economics; Financial economics; G11; G24; J24; L25; L26;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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