Abstract

Entrepreneurs must exploit existing opportunities while continuing to explore and innovate. That is, they must be ambidextrous (O'Reilly III & Tushman, 2007). In this paper, I investigate the role of social cognitive self-regulation in entrepreneurial ambidexterity. I draw on Regulatory Focus Theory which describes two related self-regulatory orientations called promotion focus and prevention focus (Higgins, 1998). Promotion focus describes where growth and the need for advancement motivate people to seek gains. In contrast, prevention focus describes where security and the need for safety motivate people to avoid losses. A major finding of this study is that the interaction of both promotion focus and prevention focus appears to play a significant role in stimulating entrepreneurial ambidexterity.

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