Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

What Do You Fear? Refining the Role of Fear of Failure as an Antecedent of Entrepreneurial Intention

    This study provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of fear of failure as an antecedent to entrepreneurial intention. By drawing from achievement motivation theory, the conceptual part of the study identifies three tensions about the use of the fear of failure concept in current entrepreneurship literature: Literature to date almost unanimously suggests that fear of failure is (1) a unidimensional construct, (2) similar or even synonymous to risk aversion, and with that (3) always a barrier to entrepreneurship. With survey data from 323 students, we show that the relationship between fear of failure and entrepreneurial intentions is more complex than typically assumed. By juxtaposing a one- and a two-dimensional operationalization of fear of failure, we provide evidence that different dimensions of fear differently affect entrepreneurial propensity. Fear of failure stemming from intrapersonal processes negatively relates to entrepreneurial intentions, while fear of failure stemming from interpersonal processes has a positive effect. Furthermore, the study suggests that the effect of fear of failure on entrepreneurial intentions is mediated via risk propensity. This result challenges the common method of treating fear of failure and risk propensity as similar or complementary concepts on the same hierarchical level.

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