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.
- 512 Business and Management
- Decision making
- Environmental entrepreneurship
- Sexual prejudice