Research Handbook of Entrepreneurial Exit
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Research Handbook of Entrepreneurial Exit

Edited by Dawn R. DeTienne and Karl Wennberg

With contributions from authors around the globe, Research Handbook of Entrepreneurial Exit explores this most important phenomenon in the entrepreneurial journey. This book presents a comprehensive review of the current issues in entrepreneurial exits, and provides theoretical and methodological insights for future research. It explores the historical perspective and discusses topics such as gender and exit, retirement, psychological barriers, emotional aspects, venture capital funding firm relocation and exit from social ventures.
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Chapter 9: The entrepreneurial break-up: disengaging from the start-up phase

Christina Wicker and Per Davidsson


In this chapter we explore drivers of nascent entrepreneurial disengagement. It has been observed that theories relying on economic rationality and access to resources do not explain the behaviour of nascent entrepreneurs particularly well. Therefore we use the metaphor of love to increase our understanding of why prospective business founders give up a start-up effort. Specifically, we employ Sternberg’s (1986) triangular theory of love as the underpinning framework. In recent years, research on entrepreneurial exit has grown considerably in volume and sophistication, providing insights from macroeconomic-, organizational-and individual-level perspectives on entrepreneurial exit (Hessels et al., 2011). This has led to reduced estimates of failure rates (Levie et al., 2011) and a better distinction between exit and failure (Yusuf, 2012; Shepherd, 2004; Shepherd and Haynie, 2011; Minniti and Bygrave, 2001), implying also a distinction between sound and less sound persistence, or ‘refusal’ to exit (DeTienne et al., 2008). Further, the research has developed a much richer understanding on the drivers (Van Gelderen et al., 2006; Wennberg et al., 2010; Hessels et al., 2011; Fok et al., 2010) and consequences (Jenkins et al., 2012; Shepherd, 2003; Minniti and Bygrave, 2001) of failure and other forms of exit.

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