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Habitual Entrepreneurs

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright use a combination of theory and empirical evidence to illustrate why it is so important for researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors to distinguish between novice (i.e. first time) entrepreneurs and habitual entrepreneurs. Issues tackled include human capital characteristics, information search and opportunity identification behaviours, and the performance of different types of entrepreneurs. The book also highlights the heterogeneity of habitual entrepreneurs by drawing attention to serial and portfolio entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 7: Conclusions

Deniz Ucbasaran, Paul Westhead and Mike Wright


Introduction This book represents the first systematic study of habitual entrepreneurship. The study has explored the role played by business ownership experience in understanding entrepreneurial behaviour (that is, information search and opportunity identification, pursuit and exploitation) and performance. In particular, the broad research question under study was as follows: What is the relationship between entrepreneurial experience (business ownership experience), human capital, entrepreneurial behaviour and outcomes? To address this question, habitual (experienced) and novice (inexperienced) entrepreneurs were compared. In addition, differences between serial entrepreneurs (those who acquired business ownership experience sequentially) and portfolio entrepreneurs (those who acquired business ownership experience concurrently), were examined. By identifying differences between these groups of entrepreneurs a significant source of heterogeneity amongst entrepreneurs, namely the extent and nature of business ownership experience, was identified. While casual observation suggests that entrepreneurs are heterogeneous, many studies have largely ignored this heterogeneity, potentially leading to biased results. The study also addresses a number of limitations associated with previous research on habitual entrepreneurship. First, by focusing on the entrepreneur and the firm as the unit of analysis, the study avoids a singular focus on the firm at the expense of the entrepreneur. In many smaller businesses the entrepreneur is often the key resource and driver of the organization, and should therefore not be overlooked. Second, the study develops a theoretical framework for the study of habitual entrepreneurship. Previous research has contributed towards but not provided a unifying framework for the study of business ownership experience. The study is couched within...

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