On the Edge of Destruction: An Impaired-Regulation Model of Destructive Entrepreneurial Action

Dean A. Shepherd*, Stella Seyb, Vangelis Souitaris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Entrepreneurial action can be directed toward identifying, generating, and exploiting potential business opportunities that can cause harm to others. Over and above the “rules of the game” of the economic system, we theorize on destructive entrepreneurial actions that result from entrepreneurs’ impaired regulation of their decision making. Specifically, we build on the entrepreneurial action literature and draw on regulation theories of goal attainment and moral disengagement to develop an impaired-regulation model of destructive entrepreneurial actions. This model contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by providing new insights into (a) why some entrepreneurs are more susceptible to engaging their ventures in destructive entrepreneurial actions, (b) everyday entrepreneurs (the “who”) engaging in destructive entrepreneurial actions (i.e., the “how” and “why”), and (c) when and why some entrepreneurs respond to their destructive entrepreneurial actions by becoming repentant do-gooders while others grow into serial offenders.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Management
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • destruction
  • entrepreneurial action
  • impaired cognition
  • personal resources
  • stakeholders


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