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Behavioral disinhibition and nascent venturing: Relevance and initial effects on potential resource providers

2016

Lerner Daniel

Abstract While relatively weak inhibition is often associated with unproductive behavior and pathologies, it may favor acting on entrepreneurial opportunities. Ultimately exploiting opportunities, however, goes well beyond individual action, requiring organizing/others. This raises the question of how others perceive and respond to disinhibition in an entrepreneurial agent. Triangulating from psychology and entrepreneurship literatures, behavioral disinhibition in an entrepreneur is hypothesized to have ambivalent, overall negative effects on potential resource providers. A randomized experiment tested the hypotheses. Results were significant, with moderate to large effect sizes. The findings suggest that behavioral proclivities facilitating individual entrepreneurial action may paradoxically undermine organizing. The work contributes to an emergent literature on ostensibly dark-side characteristics relevant to entrepreneurship, extends knowledge on entrepreneur behavior influencing potential resource providers, and highlights unresolved tensions relevant to opportunity pursuit (e.g., exploration/exploitation dilemmas).

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