An Exploration of The Cognitive Factors Involved in Learning from Failure

Failure has been consistently extolled as a fundamental learning experience in entrepreneurship. However, researchers acknowledge that this pervasive view of failure is supported in the literature almost solely on the basis of anecdotal evidence. This study empirically investigates the type of knowledge that can be learned through a failure experience as well as the factors that moderate the learning process. We find that business failure can help improve an entrepreneur’s ability to recognize business opportunities by enhancing their use of structural alignment processes. This relationship is particularly strong for those entrepreneurs operating with an intuitive cognitive style, utilizing expert opportunity prototypes, and relying less upon prior professional experience.

Journal or Publication:
Academy of Management Proceedings
Brandon Mueller
Dean Shepherd
Year Published
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