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The Evaluative Nature of Entrepreneurial Constraints

The Entrepreneurial Behaviour: Unveiling the cognitive and emotional aspect of entrepreneurship

ISBN: 978-1-78973-508-6, eISBN: 978-1-78973-507-9

Publication date: 28 August 2020


Entrepreneurs and their ventures face innumerous constraints (e.g., lack of funding, lack of business skills, and lack of social support) since the moment business opportunities are identified and chased, until the venture comes to reality. Scholars have conceptualized constraints as obstacles in nature, that is, as always undermining entrepreneurs’ behavior. Nonetheless, prior research has presented conflicting results. Specifically, a same constraint may or may not have a negative effect on entrepreneurs’ action. As advanced by Van Gelderen, Thurik, and Patel (2011), this suggest that “the nature of [entrepreneurial] problems is essentially evaluative, and therefore subjective.” Accordingly, a same constraint may be seen as a problem by one person but not by another. This chapter explores the evaluative nature of entrepreneurial constraints. Based on the cognitive appraisal framework (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) – which argues that constraints are not the direct precipitating cause of a behavior, but rather the person’s appraisal of challenge and threat that determines the response – this chapter argues that distinct appraisals (i.e., challenge vs threat) of a same entrepreneurial constraint will be associated with distinct degrees of effort from entrepreneurs (i.e., enhanced vs reduced, respectively). This chapter provides a useful framework for entrepreneurship scholars to study the nuanced effect of entrepreneurial constraints on entrepreneurs’ behavior.



López, A. and Neves, P. (2020), "The Evaluative Nature of Entrepreneurial Constraints", Caputo, A. and Pellegrini, M.M. (Ed.) The Entrepreneurial Behaviour: Unveiling the cognitive and emotional aspect of entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurial Behaviour Series), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 311-323.



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