Research Archive

Regulatory Focus Theory and the Entrepreneurial Process

Publication type: Journal article

Research Archive Topic: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Organizations

Abstract

Regulatory focus theory delineates how people engage in self-regulation, the process of bringing oneself into alignment with one's standards and goals. At any given point in time, people may engage in self-regulation with a promotion focus or a prevention focus. When promotion-focused, people's growth and advancement needs motivate them to try to bring themselves into alignment with their ideal selves, thereby heightening the salience of potential gains to be attained (felt presence of positive outcomes). When prevention-focused, people's security and safety needs prompt them to attempt to bring themselves into alignment with their ought selves, thereby increasing the salience of potential losses to be avoided (felt absence of negative outcomes). For certain aspects of the entrepreneurial process (e.g., generating ideas with the potential to be successful), greater promotion focus is necessary. For other aspects of the entrepreneurial process (e.g., doing the "due dilligence" when screening ideas), greater prevention focus is necessary. In addition to providing a framework for future research on entrepreneurship, regulatory focus theory offers some informed speculations about the level and nature of entrepreneurship, regulatory focus theory offers some informed speculations about the level and nature of entrepreneurship that may be expected in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
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Citation

Brockner, Joel, E. Tory Higgins, and Murray Low. "Regulatory Focus Theory and the Entrepreneurial Process." Journal of Business Venturing 19, no. 2 (2004): 203-20.


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