Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez

Second Advisor

Dr. Sibin Wu

Third Advisor

Dr. Wanrong Hou


Entrepreneurial practices such as discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities, decision-making, and problem solving are influenced by mental processes and cognitive mechanisms. Decision-making studies in the field of entrepreneurship confirm that entrepreneurs have strong tendency to use cognitive mechanisms such as biases and heuristics to simplify their decision-making processes. Compared to non-entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs show higher levels of cognitive bias.

By focusing on cognitive mechanisms of entrepreneurs, this study answers the question of why some individuals insist on continuing their entrepreneurial journey while failure-related phenomena such as critical setbacks and counterfactual thoughts exist.

Unlike the prior research that have focused on the antecedents of failure and learning outcomes of failure, the current research takes a different approach and studies failure and learning as entrepreneurial journeys rather than simply considering them as incidents or outcomes of a new venture. Therefore, instead of studying ventures that are rising from the ashes, the author investigates the behavior of entrepreneurs before their ventures turn into ashes.


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