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To leave or not? The impact of family support and cognitive appraisals on venture exit intention

Fei Zhu (Nottingham University Business School China, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo, China)
Katrin Burmeister-Lamp (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Dan Kai Hsu (Department of Management, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine how family support affects challenge and hindrance appraisals, which in turn, influence entrepreneurs’ venture exit intention drawing on the challenge-hindrance job stressor model, family support, and the venture exit literature.


An experimental study (Study 1) was conducted to establish the relationships among family support, challenge and hindrance appraisals, and entrepreneurs’ venture exit intention. Two survey studies (Study 2 and Study 3) were conducted to extend the external validity of findings in Study 1 and to examine whether the theoretical framework holds in both the US and Chinese contexts.


All three studies demonstrate that family support decreases entrepreneurs’ venture exit intention by reducing hindrance appraisal. Study 3 also shows the mediating role of challenge appraisal in the family support – venture exit intention relationship.


This research contributes to the family embeddedness perspective not only by showing its relevance to the venture exit context but also by validating the relationship of family support with cognitive appraisals and venture exit intention in two cultural contexts. It also contributes to venture exit research by highlighting the unique role of cognitive appraisals in the formation of entrepreneurs’ venture exit intention.



Zhu, F., Burmeister-Lamp, K. and Hsu, D.K. (2017), "To leave or not? The impact of family support and cognitive appraisals on venture exit intention", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 566-590.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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