Abstract

In the competitive and dynamic entrepreneurial environment, the venture progress is largely determined by whether entrepreneurs can efficiently and effectively explore new ideas and learn. Learning, however, can be a stressful process, as it involves risk taking, experimentation, and trial- and-error. In fact, scholars suggest that errors, mistakes and failures help entrepreneurs learn and grow (Shepherd, 2004). Despite the importance of learning in the startup process, little is known about antecedents and outcomes of entrepreneurial learning. We suggest that self-regulatory processes facilitate learning which in turn leads to venture goal progress.

Specifically, we study the role of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and coping behaviors on entrepreneurs’ venture activities, learning and their venture goal progress. Entrepreneurial self- efficacy, which refers to the individual’s belief that he or she has the ability to achieve successful venture outcomes (Bandura, 1997; Chen, Greene, & Crick, 1998), is expected to enhance learning process and outcomes. Moreover, given the stressful nature of entrepreneurship (Uy, Foo, & Song, 2013), entrepreneurs’ coping behaviors which lead to positive interpretations of the experience should enhance the effect of efficacy on the outcomes.

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