Abstract

Prior research on fear of failure describes it as the appraisal of threats in evaluative situations with the potential for failure (Conroy, 2001). These situations activate cognitive beliefs and affective states about the aversive consequences of failing, triggering different behavioral mechanisms. These mechanisms include avoiding the threat or approaching the threat aggressively (Gray, 1971). Notwithstanding the evidence of the possibility of different behavioral responses to fear of failure, an examination of empirical research in the entrepreneurship literature would seem to highlight that fear is always and only an inhibitor of entrepreneurial behavior. Although this prior research is very helpful in assisting understanding of the effects of fear of failure (Arenius & Minniti, 2005; Langowitz & Minniti, 2007; Minniti & Nardone, 2007; Vaillant & Lafuente, 2007), questions remain regarding the adequacy of measures to fully capture the complexity of the effects of fear of failure. The purpose of this research is, therefore, to develop a multidimensional measure of entrepreneurial fear of failure (EFF).

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