Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises


Johan Wiklund


Entrepreneurial Exit, Gender Gap, Regulatory Environment, Regulatory Focus Theory, Serial Entrepreneurship, Stigma Theory

Subject Categories

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


This dissertation is a compilation thesis consisting of three research studies on the normative and personal expectations that influence entrepreneurial engagement subsequent to business exits. Collectively, the three studies provide insights into how and when variances between performance expectations and actual business outcomes shift the demand and supply of different groups of experienced entrepreneurs. On the demand side, I theorize and empirically examine variances in acts and modes of entrepreneurial engagement that correlate to informal (stigma of business failure, masculine norms) and formal (regulatory environment) institutional contexts. On the supply side, I develop propositions about cognitive aspects of business exits that influence the motivation of experienced entrepreneurs to engage in serial entrepreneurship. I ask the following three questions in my dissertation research: When and how do the fit or non-fit of exits from successful and unsuccessful businesses influence future engagement in entrepreneurship activity (Study 1)? How are the future career decisions of entrepreneurs who close failed businesses influenced by formal, i.e., the regulatory environment for doing business, and informal, i.e., the stigma of business failure, institutional contexts (Study 2)? Do differences in normative expectations influence the re-entry of male and female entrepreneurs differently following the closure of a failed business (Study 3)? The extant studies in the entrepreneurship literature often emphasize the characteristics of the entrepreneur or the institutional context. This dissertation highlights the fact that social realities, in concert with the cognitive processing of business exits, shape the acts and modes of entrepreneurial engagement subsequent to business exits. The implications for entrepreneurship theory, policy and practice that arise from this duality are discussed.


Open Access