Title: Experiential learning from entrepreneurial failure

Authors: Alan Benson, Liang Han

Addresses: University of Exeter Business School, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4ST, Devon, UK. ' Business School, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK

Abstract: This paper examines the phenomenon of |entrepreneurial failure| from a UK regionally-based qualitative study, being that of explanations for failure provided by entrepreneurial CEOs. This paper contends that there are valuable lessons to be learned, from explanations provided of failure, that may reduce the very high recorded mortality rates of entrepreneurial businesses, in particular that of nascent entrepreneurs. Our intention is to make nascent entrepreneurs and their advisors more aware of the consequences of the likely personal risks they will be assuming, especially before they embark on their new business ventures. This paper focuses strongly on entrepreneurial |personality characteristics| which can detrimentally influence the quality of decision-making. We provide data of some |experiential learning from failure| from our case studies, that were compiled from interviews with the former directors, following their completion of the questionnaire survey. We describe |failed entrepreneurs| who have successfully restarted their businesses as |phoenix| entrepreneurs.

Keywords: explanations for failure; personality characteristics; experiential learning; entrepreneurial failure; entrepreneurship; UK; United Kingdom; nascent entrepreneurs; personal risks; new ventures; decision making quality; failed entrepreneurs; phoenix entrepreneurs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBAF.2011.038755

International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance, 2011 Vol.2 No.1, pp.21 - 39

Published online: 01 Mar 2011 *

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