Abstract

Centralized decision making in the new venture creates greater dependence on the lead founder and requires a high level of ongoing commitment to ensure that the new venture becomes established. Such commitment, though, is not engendered by tactical processes such as selecting a location, filing paperwork, or protecting intellectual property. As a result, a founder may lose interest in starting the new venture when faced with mundane tasks that offer few, if any, intrinsic rewards. Given the essential role that the founder plays in new venture creation, it is important to understand the factors that influence a founder’s commitment to the creation process. This study seeks to extend our understanding of the relationship between psychological ownership and commitment by empirically examining factors that influence the growth and development of both psychological ownership and firm commitment. More specifically, we attempt to identify what happens to psychological ownership and commitment when perceived uncertainty increases, performance falters, or entrepreneurial experience is lacking. We develop theory to explain when these factors will have the greatest impact on a founder’s commitment to the new venture.

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