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“Differentiating Novice, Non-expert and Expert Entrepreneurs: A Self-regulated Learning Perspective”

2016

Alexander Fust Christoph Winkler Tobias Johannes Jenert

Entrepreneurial contexts are characterized by uncertainty, often requiring entrepreneurs to adapt in order to tackle the corresponding challenges and succeed. While entrepreneurial success may be explained by experiential learning, little is known as to why some experienced entrepreneurs are more successful at adapting to uncertain conditions. It has been suggested that these differences are due to enhanced cognitive resources that are analogous to those of experts. Since expertise can be developed through self-regulated learning (SRL), our paper seeks to explain the missing link between experience and entrepreneurial success. By drawing from advances in expert research and a social cognitive view of self-regulation, we develop a process oriented model of self-regulated entrepreneurial learning (SREL) in order to explain why expert entrepreneurs are better able to self-regulate and adapt their behavior during uncertainty (compared to novices and non-experts). We further develop empirically testable research propositions, and discuss theoretical and practical implications for aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs alike.

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