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Entrepreneurial risk taking: themes from the literature and pointers for future research

Syed Awais Ahmad Tipu (Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




Given the critical mass of literature on entrepreneurial risk-taking, the purpose of this paper is to assess the contribution to the knowledge so far by exploring important themes in the literature on entrepreneurial risk-taking.


The review is organized around four themes: nature of entrepreneurial risk-taking; antecedents of entrepreneurial risk-taking; context of entrepreneurial risk-taking; and outcomes of entrepreneurial risk-taking. The author critically evaluates the literature on each theme and presents the pointers for future research.


Literature does provide a holistic view encapsulating different dimensions of entrepreneurial risk-taking, but it has produced largely inconsistent findings in terms of risk and gender, risk propensity of entrepreneurs in comparison to non-entrepreneurs and the outcomes of entrepreneurial risk-taking. Organizational antecedents, non-financial measures and ethical- and health-related consequences of entrepreneurial risk are underexplored. Inconclusive literature also implies that the risk may not be a distinguishing or important factor for undertaking an entrepreneurial endeavor. Therefore, it is pertinent to explore the critical factors entrepreneurs consider (or not consider) while marshalling their resources to embark on an entrepreneurial journey. This posits the need to explore an entrepreneur’s informal approach toward risk-taking.


Suggested pointers of future research will potentially enhance the theoretical understanding of entrepreneurial risk-taking.



Tipu, S.A.A. (2017), "Entrepreneurial risk taking: themes from the literature and pointers for future research", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 432-455.



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