Decision Making in Entrepreneurship
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Decision Making in Entrepreneurship

Selected Joint Papers of Dean A. Shepherd

Dean A. Shepherd

In this volume, Dean Shepherd focuses on the varying topics of entrepreneurship unified through conjoint analysis. Although the topic of entrepreneurial decision making is broad, in doing so, he reveals the mechanisms that come into play during the entrepreneurial decision-making process.
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Chapter 17: The fallacy of “only the strong survive”: The effects of extrinsic motivation on the persistence decisions for under-performing firms

Dawn R. DeTienne, Dean A. Shepherd and Julio O. De Castro


Under-performing firms persist even though existing theoretical perspectives indicate that they should be selected out of the market. Building upon threshold theory [Gimeno, J., Folta, T., Cooper, A., Woo, C., 1997. Survival of the fittest? Entrepreneurial human capital and the persistence of underperforming firms. Administrative Science Quarterly 42, 750–783.] and using Staw's [Staw, B.M., 1981. The escalation of commitment to a course of action. Academy of Management Review 6 (4), 577–587.] theoretical model of commitment to a course of action, we explore and test the factors that lead entrepreneurs to persist with underperforming firms. We found environmental munificence, personal investment, personal options, previous organizational success, and perceived collective efficacy impact the decision to persist with an under-performing firm. In addition, extrinsic motivation moderates those relationships. This research adds to the growing literature on highly persistent, under-performing firms and complements and extends threshold theory.

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