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Why Are Optimistic Entrepreneurs Successful? An Application Of The Regulatory Focus Theory

  • RUTA AIDIS

    ()

  • TOMASZ MICKIEWICZ*

    ()

  • ARNIS SAUKA

    ()

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 regulatory focus theory.

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File URL: http://www.wdi.umich.edu/files/Publications/WorkingPapers/wp914.pdf
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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp914.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2008-914
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  1. 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.
  2. Stefano DellaVigna, 2007. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," NBER Working Papers 13420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2006. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1315-1330, September.
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