Abstract

Extant research provides wide evidence that entrepreneurs’ growth aspirations contribute to actual new venture growth (Davidsson, Delmar, & Wiklund, 2006; Delmar & Wiklund, 2008; Miner, Smith, & Bracker, 1994; Wiklund & Shepherd, 2003). These findings have come along with several studies aimed at understanding the antecedents of growth aspirations (Baum & Locke, 2004; Cassar, 2006; Davidsson, 1989, 1991). The present study aims to clarify the contradictory findings concerning two of these antecedents – prior experience and self-efficacy. In addressing these contradictory findings, we observe that previous research on growth aspirations has not always taken into account the type of prior experience of the entrepreneur. Furthermore, extant studies have not considered the role of different types of self-efficacy as mediators between prior experience and growth aspiration. It is the aim of this study to more elaborately test these mediation relationships and thereby clarify some of the inconclusive results so far.

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