Together the five of us have established SSES, our joint school devoted to offering our students education, training and inspiration in applied entrepreneurship. So, if you are a student of ours: a special welcome! If not, check out our events and seminars.

Re-emerging from failure: Rising up, staying down, or more of the same?

Rise from failure

Date: May 30th, 2017 
Time: 12-13.30
Presenter: Ida Lindh

Lunch and full paper will be provided to those who register.

SSES office, Saltmätargatan 9

NB: in order to register you need to hold a PhD or be a doctoral student



Most entrepreneurial efforts eventually fail. But how do entrepreneurs attribute failure differently, and how do those attributions influence their subsequent venturing actions? Find out in this PhD seminar.


Research on how actors deal with failure has typically drawn on attribution theory. Overall, this research has shown that individuals’ perceptions and attributions of the root cause of failure influence their post-failure emotions, expectations, and subsequent behaviors. While we acknowledge that starting a new venture in a new industry is one possible pathway for entrepreneurs who experience failure, we know other outcomes are also possible, including venturing in the same industry or ending one’s entrepreneurship career altogether. When considering these diverse responses to failure and the role of attribution in shaping these responses, we reviewed the literature on both entrepreneurship and attribution theory and found that there are no clear explanations for why and how attributions shape individuals’ interpretations of failure and their subsequent actions. We explored two general research questions: how do entrepreneurs attribute failure differently, and how do those attributions influence their subsequent venturing actions?

We employed an inductive, ethnographic research design and analysis methodology and followed seven entrepreneurs over the course of two years, beginning at the time they experienced business failure. We investigated both their responses to failure and subsequent venturing actions.

The findings illustrate that the entrepreneurs’ various responses to their respective failure events resulted in four unique trajectories across the dimensions of attributions, emotions, and learning. These trajectories in turn shaped what the entrepreneurs did after the failure.


Ida Lindh ( is doctoral student in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. Her research interest is entrepreneurs’ learning processes, and how such learning interplay with affect and cognitions. She has a particular interest in how entrepreneurs learn from failure and other critical events in the entrepreneurial process, and how their learning influence the paths forward. She has published in Management Learning and Entrepreneurship & Regional Development.