Competence and Commitment: Employer Size and Entrepreneurial Endurance

Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 1277-1305

34 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011

See all articles by Damon J. Phillips

Damon J. Phillips

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Management

Jesper Sorensen

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2011

Abstract

We develop and test a theory of entrepreneurial endurance, or the likelihood that an entrepreneur will continue an entrepreneurial venture from one period to the next. Conceptualizing entrepreneurial endurance as a function of the entrepreneur's competence in and commitment to the entrepreneurial role, we argue that both factors should be shaped by the entrepreneur's prior employment. We focus on the effects of employer size on the prospective entrepreneur, and argue that employer size has a negative effect on both entrepreneurial competence and commitment. This implies that entrepreneurs from small firms should have superior economic performance and, for a given level of performance, be less likely to exit entrepreneurship. We find support for these predictions in analyses of entrepreneurs in a unique dataset characterizing the Danish labor market.

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Damon J. and Sorensen, Jesper B., Competence and Commitment: Employer Size and Entrepreneurial Endurance (June 2011). Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 1277-1305, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1959758

Damon J. Phillips (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Jesper B. Sorensen

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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