Harsh evaluations of entrepreneurs who fail: The role of sexual orientation, use of environmentally friendly technologies, and observers' perspective taking

Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there is a pervasive anti-failure bias in society, we investigate why some entrepreneurs who fail are evaluated more harshly than others. Building on attribution theory and the literatures on prejudice, pro-social intentions, and perspective taking, we offer an evaluation model of entrepreneurial failure and test this model on 6,784 assessments made by 212 observers. We find that variance in the harshness of failure evaluations depends on both the attributes of the entrepreneur and the attributes of the observer, and the interaction between the two. Specifically, entrepreneurs who are homosexual are evaluated more harshly by some observers and entrepreneurs who use environmentally friendly technology are evaluated less harshly. Moreover, observers high in perspective taking are more 'lenient' in their failure evaluations of those who use environmentally friendly technology than those low in perspective taking.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Management Studies
Volume52
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)253-284
Number of pages32
ISSN0022-2380
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • Decision making
  • Environmental entrepreneurship
  • Failure
  • Homosexuality
  • Sexual prejudice

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