Abstract

What distinguishes successful from unsuccessful entrepreneurs? Scholars have proposed that, by enabling flexible adaptation to a dynamic environment, the entrepreneurial mindset facilitates pursuit of new venture creation. However, the same cognitive adaptability that is attributed to the entrepreneurial mindset, and deemed responsible for the relentless persistence to which many entrepreneurs ascribe their success, can also lead to undue persistence and escalation of commitment under slightly less favorable circumstances. Building on regulatory focus theory, we examine the conditions under which the entrepreneurial mindset can go from strength to weakness, transforming the entrepreneurial mindset from a core competency that encourages perceptual and behavioral readiness into a core rigidity that is susceptible to escalation of commitment.

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