Abstract

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is used to empirically study whether an entrepreneur transfers his/her firm, conditional on exiting the firm. TPB posits that entrepreneurial intentions drive actions, here the transfer of a business. Independent attitudes affecting intentions are the perceived desirability of the outcome to the individual (personal attitude), the acceptability of the outcomes to the social norms of a reference group (subjective norms) and the perception that the behavior is feasible (perceived behavioral control). While intentions represent motivational aspects of behavior, on themselves they are inadequate to capture the implemental aspects that help translate intentions into behavior. Specifically, it is argued that the act of explicitly planning the transfer – which is completely under control of the entrepreneur - increases the probability of actually transferring the firm. Therefore, we expand the TPB framework by assessing whether formal and informal planning of the exit process further explains the remaining gap between intentions to transfer and the actual transfer.

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