Abstract

In this paper, we develop the concept of “bouncing back” from entrepreneurial project failure, that is, an association between entrepreneurs’ failure narratives and their firms’ subsequent performance (Wolfe & Shepherd, 2013a, 2013b). Prior research has established the above link, but there is an insufficient consideration of the boundary conditions of when an entrepreneurial project failure is experienced as a failure and why then, under specific narrative conditions, some experiences improve the subsequent performance while other narratives do not have this bouncing-back effect (see Kim & Miner, 2007). This study identifies those boundary conditions as sensemaking loops (e.g. Weick, Sutcliff & Obstfeld, 2005) and explains their narrative contents as public discourses of communication.

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