Persist or let it go: Do rational entrepreneurs make decisions rationally?

Nidthida Lin, Ralf Wilden, Francesco Chirico, Elahe Ghasrodashti, Dawn R. DeTienne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


We theorize that both highly rational entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with a high need for cognitive closure (NFCC) are likely to put more emphasis on retrospective factors (period and degree of underperformance, personal investments) and less on prospective factors (risk of going into default, potential for growth, personal options) when deciding whether to persist with an underperforming venture. Our findings from three discrete choice experiments with three independent samples of entrepreneurs (a sample of 176 Australian entrepreneurs; a narrow-replication with 128 Australian entrepreneurs; and a quasi-replication with 157 United Kingdom entrepreneurs) consistently show that entrepreneurs who perceive themselves as rational do not always demonstrate rational behavior and entrepreneurs with a high NFCC put more emphasis on retrospective factors in persistence decisions. Important theoretical and practical contributions flowing from our study are shared in the concluding section.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106210
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Entrepreneurial persistence
  • Need for cognitive closure
  • Rational decision-making style
  • Discrete choice experiment


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