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Why are Optimistic Entrepreneurs Successful? An Application of the Regulatory Focus Theory

  • Ruta Aidis

    ()

    (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

  • Tomasz Marek Mickiewicz

    ()

    (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

  • Arnis Sauka

    ()

    (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga)

Does entrepreneurial optimism affect business performance? Using a unique data set based on repeated survey design, we investigate this relationship empirically. Our measures of ‘optimism’ and ‘realism’ are derived from comparing the turnover growth expectations of 133 owners-managers with the actual outcomes one year later. Our results indicate that entrepreneurial optimists perform significantly better in terms of profits than pessimists. Moreover, it is the optimist-realist combination that performs best. We interpret our results using the regulatory focus theory.

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Paper provided by UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in its series UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series with number 85.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:see:wpaper:85
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  1. Stefano DellaVigna, 2007. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," NBER Working Papers 13420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2006. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1315-1330, September.
  3. Brockner, Joel & Higgins, E. Tory & Low, Murray B., 2004. "Regulatory focus theory and the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 203-220, March.
  4. Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per & Gartner, William B., 2003. "Arriving at the high-growth firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 189-216, March.
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