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[Editor:] Tipurić, Darko [Editor:] Labaš, Davor [Title:] 6th International OFEL Conference on Governance, Management and Entrepreneurship. New Business Models and Institutional Entrepreneurs: Leading Disruptive Change. April 13th - 14th, 2018, Dubrovnik, Croatia [Pages:] 303-331
The entrepreneur’s life is a path of learning. This learning to a large extend results from critical events. The exit from an entrepreneurial endeavor as a particularly critical event thus represents an opportunity for rich learning. Entrepreneurs who subsequently re-engage in entrepreneurial activity (“serial entrepreneurs”) may therefore achieve improved venture performance. Whereas research already dealt with this learning-caused performance increase of successive business ventures, it still lacks a holistic understanding of the learning process between exit and re-engagement. Existing studies (1) are limited to certain stages within this process, (2) only deal with single influencing factors (e.g. grief) or (3) discuss certain learning outcomes (e.g. exit-related learning). Combatting this fragmentation of research, we aim to draw a holistic, dynamic picture of the learning process spanning from exit to entrepreneurial re-emergence. We apply a s ystematic literature review methodology and provide a conceptual framework of the learning process between exit and entrepreneurial re-emergence. Our findings reveal that the exit indeed triggers a stage of deep reflection that is influenced by attributional and emotional effects and leads to an updated stock of knowledge. Furthermore, there does exist a large variety of learning contents (learning about one’s personality, one’s environment, one’s business capabilities). Many empirical studies confirm that this stock of knowledge gained through learning influences entrepreneurial re-emergence, particularly future venture performance. With these results, our study contributes to research on three dimensions: First, it takes stock of existing knowledge in the field, comprising studies on positive (“successes”) and negative (“failures”) forms of exit. Second, it provides a conceptual framework that improves our understanding of the learning process between entrepreneurial exit and re-emergence. Third, it reveals promising avenues for further research. We therefore are able to present findings with relevance for various interest groups, including but not limited to science, practitioners and the public.
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