This article explores entrepreneurial exit defined as disengagement from the start-up process. It addresses two questions: (1) is disengagement a negative outcome? and (2) are all cases of disengagement homogeneous? The literature identifies two types of disengagements based on the degree of learning by nascent entrepreneurs. Intelligent exit refers to proactive or strategic disengagement precipitated by entrepreneurs’ learning that concluded the business opportunity would not be successful. From this perspective, entrepreneurs could adopt discovering or enacting modes and their related causal or effectual approaches to learning. Reactive or uninformed exit results from lack of planning and an inability to solve problems. Results suggest two different disengagement clusters—the intelligent and reactive exit clusters—but the distinction between discovering and enacting approaches to learning is not supported. Cases of intelligent exit are found to be more similar to cases of operating businesses than they are to cases of reactive exit.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 3, 2011
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