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Regulatory focus, environmental turbulence, and entrepreneur improvisation

Abstract

Improvisation is increasingly recognized as a critical strategy used by entrepreneurs for effectively dealing with unexpected events. Nevertheless, limited effort has been exerted in the investigation of the antecedents of entrepreneur improvisation. This study proposes and analyzes regulatory focus as an important antecedent of entrepreneur improvisation, and examines the moderating role of environmental turbulence in this relationship. Data are obtained from a two-wave survey of 99 entrepreneurs in the largest economic area in China. Empirical results indicate that promotion focus (but not prevention focus) is significantly related to entrepreneur improvisation. Furthermore, environmental turbulence significantly moderates the relationship between prevention focus and entrepreneur improvisation. These findings advance the understanding of entrepreneur improvisation and regulatory focus theory, and provide practical implications for entrepreneurs, investors and boards of directors.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. According to the common practice (e.g., Farmer et al. (2011)), the current study measured Chinese entrepreneurs’ educational attainment with four levels: master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree (i.e., three-year colledge), and high school education.

  2. Based on the SME criteria made by Chinese National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), we classified the assets of respondent firms as five levels.

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Correspondence to Jianlin Wu.

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Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (No.:1708085MG174, PI: Professor Jibao Gu).

Appendix

Appendix

Table 4 Survey instrument

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Hu, L., Gu, J., Wu, J. et al. Regulatory focus, environmental turbulence, and entrepreneur improvisation. Int Entrep Manag J 14, 129–148 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-017-0446-7

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Keywords

  • Regulatory focus theory
  • Entrepreneur improvisation
  • Environmental turbulence