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Perceptions of Efficacy, Control, and Risk: A Theory of Mixed Control


  • Erik Monsen

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)

  • Diemo Urbig

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)


Based on the aggregated insights of the existing theories related to multiple sources of efficacy and locus of control, we introduce the theory of mixed control, a model of compound-risk perception. This theory considers outcome expectancies as being composed of expectancies regarding three distinct sources of risk (self, others, and chance). This reflects that entrepreneurship is a complex and dynamic activity, involving multiple sources of risk. Beliefs about the efficacy of these elements are weighted by the degree to which these elements are perceived to control the outcome. The interaction of efficacy and control beliefs is therefore at the core of our theory. Further, we discuss that risks are not only subjectively perceived but can be endogenous and depend on future decisions and actions of the entrepreneur.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Monsen & Diemo Urbig, 2009. "Perceptions of Efficacy, Control, and Risk: A Theory of Mixed Control," Jena Economics Research Papers 2009-018, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-018

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim Klyver & Benson Honig & Paul Steffens, 2018. "Social support timing and persistence in nascent entrepreneurship: exploring when instrumental and emotional support is most effective," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 709-734, October.
    2. Zellweger, Thomas & Sieger, Philipp & Halter, Frank, 2011. "Should I stay or should I go? Career choice intentions of students with family business background," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 521-536, September.
    3. Diemo Urbig & Werner Bönte & Vivien D. Procher & Sandro Lombardo, 2020. "Entrepreneurs embrace competition: evidence from a lab-in-the-field study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 193-214, June.
    4. Giordano Martínez Karla Roxana & Fernández-Laviada Ana & Herrero Crespo Ángel, 2018. "Influence of Business Incubators Performance on Entrepreneurial Intentions and Its Antecedents during the Pre-incubation Stage," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-15, March.
    5. Jeroen P.J. de Jong, 2013. "The Decision to Exploit Opportunities for Innovation: A Study of High–Tech Small–Business Owners," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 37(2), pages 281-301, March.
    6. Kibler, Ewald & Mandl, Christoph & Kautonen, Teemu & Berger, Elisabeth S.C., 2017. "Attributes of legitimate venture failure impressions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 145-161.
    7. Emre Şahin Dölarslan & Akin Koçak & Alper Özer, 2017. "“Bats Are Blind?” Cognitive Biases In Risk Perception Of Entrepreneurs," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 22(03), pages 1-13, September.

    More about this item


    locus of control; self-efficacy; risk perception;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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