Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

Triggers of Decisions to Launch a New Venture-Is There Any Difference between Pre-Business and In-Business Entrepreneurs?

Academic journal article Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal

Triggers of Decisions to Launch a New Venture-Is There Any Difference between Pre-Business and In-Business Entrepreneurs?

Article excerpt


This paper describes the findings of an ongoing study designed to determine the triggers that led pre business and in business entrepreneurs to begin the entrepreneurship process and their relative importance. The findings suggest that the triggers are personal, opportunity/idea, job related, financial, and family/interpersonal. Demographically the two groups studied were different. There were significant differences and some similarities in triggers between the groups and in the degree to which the triggers impacted their decision to embark on entrepreneurship.


Peter and Katarina, a young couple who have excellent education and work experiences in cutting edge medical research earning competitive income, have recently decided to start their own medical information service business. Why would they trade a comfortable life style for the intensive stress and anxiety related to creating a new business? Peter and Katarina are not alone in the entrepreneurial path. Research in entrepreneurship has introduced many aspects of how and why people make decisions in new venture creation (Shane, 2002). Some researchers have characterized entrepreneurs by traits, personalities, preferences and behaviors (Kihlstrom & Laffont, 1979; McClelland, 1961; Shaver & Scott, 1991). These researchers have concluded that entrepreneurial individuals are often motivated by economic and/or psychological factors. Other researchers have examined circumstantial variables of the environment and their influences on individual decisions in new venture formation by considering market forces, employment change and shifting organizational structures (Arrow, 1962; Casson, 1982; Audretsch, 1997). Most scholars have agreed that the entrepreneurial process and theories involve a complex set of variables that are beyond any single aspect. To identify motives and incentives of entrepreneurial activities involves disseminating several layers of relationships between personal factors, external forces and other random events.

Existing literature has provided limited evidence to explain the differences among entrepreneurs by demographics and in different stages of pursuing new venture opportunities, i.e., pre business and in business. It is logical to speculate that the decision to launch a new venture probably includes both endogenous factors in the individuals and exogenous factors in the environment. None of the existing literature discussed the possibility that pre business entrepreneurs (who may not have any experience in starting a new venture) might have different reasons to launch new ventures compared to in business folks. This article presents the results of an on-going study designed to provide additional insight into why pre business and in business entrepreneurs choose to start new venture by considering both endogenous and exogenous factors--a group of triggers. We define triggers as forces in the individuals or in the individuals' perception of their situation that move them toward the entrepreneurial process. It is important to distinguish "triggering factors" and "triggering events" from "triggers". Triggering events and triggering factors have both been commonly applied in many entrepreneurship research (Shane, 2002). Triggering events are more like "something happened as an occasion or an episode that influence individual's assessment on the situation." Triggering factors could be interpreted as "issues or features that influence individual's perspectives about certain situations". Triggers, as defined in this study, are not necessarily to be any event or factor. They could be things that each individual has identified logically or randomly based on feelings, experiences, or interactions with environment or other individuals.

This research is in the exploratory stage. The long term goal is to develop research results to formulate a conceptual theoretical framework using a multivariate equilibrium approach to explain why and how entrepreneurs make decisions. …

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