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Type: Thesis
Title: Fear of Failure and Entrepreneurial Intention among Young Individuals
Author: Ukil, Minhajul Islam
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: Adelaide Business School
Abstract: This research aims to explore the fear of failure experience at the entrepreneurial intention stage. The choice was to examine this stage specifically because the immediate antecedent and most powerful predictor of entrepreneurial behaviour is entrepreneurial intention (Krueger & Carsud, 1993). As such, there is an imperative to better understand the relationship between fear of failure and entrepreneurial intention and, to what extent the fear of failure impedes (or indeed enhances) entrepreneurial intention. Although other entrepreneurship studies have looked at fear of failure, none has examined the impact of fear of failure on entrepreneurial intention. Given the relationship between intention and behaviour (Ajzen, 1999) and the importance of entrepreneurial activity in stimulating economic (and social) activity (Galinda & Méndez, 2014; Zhao, 2005), this research plays a significant role in contributing towards our understanding of why some entrepreneurs may fail to start ventures, despite having entrepreneurial intentions to do so. The fear of failure may differ across a range of demographics and cultures, so the scope of this research limits itself to one specific group - young people aged 24 years or less (who aspire to be entrepreneurs or who are existing entrepreneurs). This demographic is critical because there is a high global rate of youth unemployment and yet there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that this age group has significant potential to establish highly innovative enterprises (OECD, 2019). In addition, this research adopts a cross-country perspective examining fear of failure in different socio-economic, cultural and developmental environments, to arrive at a more robust understanding of the fear of failure with the aim of increasing the external validity of our research findings. To do this, this research examines fear of failure as it pertains to young aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in two very different countries – one that is developed and one that is developing: Australia and Bangladesh. By focusing on the particular young person demographic chosen and by adopting a cross country cultural and developmental comparative approach, this research aims to advance our understanding of the fear of failure as it relates to entrepreneurial intention within a specific context. In this regard, this research addresses the following research questions: “How do young people experience fear of failure with regard to their entrepreneurial intentions?”, and “What factors have a positive effect on the relationship between fear of failure and entrepreneurial intention among young people?” This research adopts snowball sampling for data collection purposes. Data analysis occurs using a qualitative research methodology and applies a thematic analysis technique to the data collected via 40 interviews (20 aspiring and 20 active entrepreneurs in Australia and Bangladesh). Data analysis followed a three-step process of reduction and breakdown of text to identify basic, organising, and global themes (Attride-Stirling, 2001). The analysis identified 52 basic themes, 20 organising themes, and five global themes. Consistent with Cacciotti et al. (2016), the results suggest that the fear of failure as aligned to entrepreneurial intention is an experience resulting from a dynamic interaction among cognitive evaluations of the sources of the fear of failure and affects, which eventually shape a behavioural response. The findings suggest that some sources of the fear of failureentrepreneurial intention relationship are of a dispositional nature (Conroy et al., 2001) while others are situated in a broader entrepreneurial context. The results also suggest a set of dispositional and contextual factors that impact the relationship between cognitive evaluation of the sources of the fear of failure and entrepreneurial intention. These factors are classified as “triggers of change”. This research establishes a number of propositions that require further investigation. First, the experience of fear of failure with regard to entrepreneurial intention is activated by VII individual cognitive evaluations of dispositional and situational sources, and positive or negative affects. Second, cognitive evaluations and affect cumulatively lead to intended behavioural responses expressed as either enhanced or reduced entrepreneurial intention. Third, entrepreneurial intention can be influenced by a set of triggers of change. Fourth, dispositional triggers of change mediate the relationship between the experience of the fear of failure and entrepreneurial intention. Fifth, situational triggers of change moderate the fear of failure-entrepreneurial intention relationship. From a contribution perspective, the research suggests theoretical and practical implications for aspiring entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and educational institutions. It calls for a community mind shift toward seeing failure as an opportunity to gain a valuable education, and to better appreciate failed entrepreneurs for their time and efforts.
Advisor: Muzychenko, Olga
Lindsay, Noel
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Adelaide Business School, 2020
Keywords: Fear of failure
entrepreneurial intention
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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