Abstract

Entrepreneurs’ avoidance behaviors in the early stages of the venture often sum up to embody lack of persistence, less challenging goals and even withdrawal from the entrepreneurial process altogether. This is alarming, since it implies that entrepreneurs might actually abandon even highly valuable opportunities, even before knowing their true potential.

Fear of failure was coined as the emotional experience compelling entrepreneurs into exhibiting such avoidance behaviors. Fear of failure’s high intensity, compulsive behavioral tendencies of avoidance, together with its frequent occurrence, make it a powerful emotion with wide-spreading implications for the early-stage entrepreneurial behavior. Because of the dangerous consequences for successful opportunity exploration and eventually business continuation, there is an urging need to develop and test frameworks about ways in which fear of failure can be regulated.

In this paper, we draw on emotion regulation theory to argue that other emotions that touch upon concerns more important for the early-stage entrepreneur, such as passion, will have the power to regulate fear of failure and diminish the complementary avoidance behaviors.

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