Regulatory Focus Theory and the Entrepreneurial Process

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Joel Brockner

Joel Brockner

Columbia Business School

E. Troy Higgins

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Murray Low

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The regulatory focus theory offers a well-developed framework to explain the motives, beliefs, and behaviors that dictate whether an entrepreneurial venture will succeed. The aim of the essay is to provide a conceptual framework accounting for entrepreneurial success. Individuals may engage in self-regulation with either a promotion focus or a prevention focus. Consequently, promotion- and prevention- focused self-regulation are different along three elements: (1) the underlying motives to be satisfied; (2) the nature of goals and standards to be attained; (3) the outcomes that are most significant. When promotion-focused, individuals' growth and advancement needs motivate them to bring themselves into alignment with their ideal selves, increasing the relevance of their potential gains. On the other hand, when prevention-focused, individuals' security and safety needs prompt them to align with their "ought" selves (responsibility), increasing the relevance of potential losses to be avoided. Both promotion and prevention foci are necessary for entrepreneurial success andthe presence of both may provide a source of energy. Regulatory focus theory provides informed speculations about the nature and level of entrepreneurship that may be expected after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Recommendations are made for future field-based research to evaluate the external validity of the ideas proposed in this essay, suggesting that regulatory focus theory will aid both scholars and practitioners to understand the entrepreneurial processes and their outcomes.(CBS)

Keywords: Regulatory focus theory, Promotion, Startups, Accident prevention, Behavior theories, Firm performance, Individual traits, Motivation

Suggested Citation

Brockner, Joel and Higgins, E. Troy and Low, Murray, Regulatory Focus Theory and the Entrepreneurial Process (2004). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1510600

Joel Brockner (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-4435 (Phone)
212-316-9355 (Fax)

E. Troy Higgins

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Murray Low

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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