How Failure Leads to Learning among Nascent Entrepreneurs? The Evidence of Entrepreneurial Failure and Its Relationship to Entrepreneurial Learning


This paper investigates and examines the relationship between entrepreneurial failure and entrepreneurial learning that can be absorbed by nascent entrepreneurs. It also reveals the possible forms of learning that happen to nascent entrepreneurs as an outcome of failure. A quantitative study with relational approach with 180 failed nascent entrepreneurs in Padang, Indonesia was undertaken as the research method and study context. Data and information were collected by using a questionnaire (offline and online) as the research instrument. Statistical protocol in terms of validity and reliability tests as well as hypothesis testing, using SPSS 23 as the statistical tool were operated to analyze the data. The study found that entrepreneurial failure has significantly influenced [a] entrepreneurial learning of nascent entrepreneurs in the context of the study, [b] the ability to detect errors in business, as well as [c] error correction by nascent entrepreneurs. The study also reveals the fact that the serial entrepreneurship process occurs for nascent entrepreneurs in the context of study.

Keywords: entrepreneurial failure, entrepreneurial learning, nascent entrepreneurs, error detection, error correction

[1] Besra, E., Rahman, H., & Nurhayati, N., (2018). How Do We Perceive Failure? Introducing the Integrative Model of Entrepreneurial Failure, in Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Management and Entrepreneurship (I-COME). Yogyakarta-Indonesia, Universitas Kristen Petra.

[2] Smida, A. & Khelil, N. (2010). Repenser l’échec entrepreneurial des petites entreprises émergentes. Proposition d’une typologie s’appuyant sur une approche intégrative. Revue Internationale P.M.E.: économie et gestion de la petite et moyenne entreprise, Vol. 23(2), pp. 65–106.

[3] Rahman, H., Besra, E., & Nurhayati, N., (2018). Psycho-Economic Phenomenon, Opportunistic Behaviour and Entrepreneurial Failure, in Proceeding of the 3rd Global Conference on Business, Management and Entrepreneurship (GCBME), Bandung-Indonesia, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia.

[4] Singh, S., Corner, P, & Pavlovich, K., (2015). Failed, not finished: A narrative approach to understanding venture failure stigmatization. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 30(1), pp. 150–166.

[5] Yamakawa, Y., & Cardon, M. S. (2015). Causal ascriptions and perceived learning from entrepreneurial failure. Small Business Economics, Vol. 44, pp. 797–820.

[6] Jenkins, A. S., Wiklund, J., & Brundin, E., (2014). Individual responses to firm failure: Appraisals, grief, and the influence of prior failure experience. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 29, pp. 17–33.

[7] Ucbasaran, D., Westhead, P., Wright, M., & Flores, M. (2010). The nature of entrepreneurial experience, business failure and comparative optimism. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 25, pp. 541–555.

[8] Mantere, S., Aula, P., Schildt, H. & Vaara, E., (2013). Narrative attributions of entrepreneurial failure. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 28, pp. 459–473.

[9] Mueller, B., & Shepherd, D. A. (2012). Learning from Failure: How Entrepreneurial Failure Aids in the Development of Opportunity Recognition Expertise, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 32(6), Article No. 6.

[10] Atsan, N. (2016). Failure Experiences of Entrepreneurs: Causes and Learning Outcomes, Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, Vol. 235, pp. 435–442.

[11] Minniti, M., & W. Bygrave. (2001). A dynamic model of entrepreneurial learning. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 25(3): pp. 5–16. [12] Lee, J., & Miesing, P. (2017). How entrepreneurs can benefit from failure management?, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 46, pp. 157—164 [13] Liu, Y., Li, Y., Xiling, H., & Zhang, Y. (2019). Narcissism and learning from entrepreneurial failure, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 34, pp. 496-512.

[14] Mellahi, K., & Wilkinson, A. (2004). Organizational failure: a critique of recent research and a proposed integrative framework, International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 5, pp. 21–41.

[15] Petkova, A.P., (2008). A theory of entrepreneurial learning from performance errors, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Vol. 5(4), pp. 345–367.

[16] Cope, J., (2005). Toward a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 29(4). pp. 373–397.

[17] Cope, J., (2011). Entrepreneurial learning from failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 26(6). pp. 604–623.

[18] Cope, J., (2003). Entrepreneurial learning and critical reflection discontinuous events as triggers for ‘higher-level’ learning. Management Learning, Vol. 34(4). pp. 429–450.

[19] Wadhwa, V., Aggarwal, R., Holly. H., & Salkever, A., ( July 2009). Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Family Background and Motivation, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Research Report.

[20] Rahman, H., Besra, E., & Nurhayati, N., (2019). The Mediating Effect of Emotive Factor on the Constructs that Influence Entrepreneurial Failure, Development Research of Management, Vol. 14(1), pp. 1–20.

[21] Gagne, R. (1985). The Conditions of Learning. New York, NY: US, Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

[22] Schunk, D. H. (2012). Learning theories: an educational perspective, Boston, MA: US, Pearson Education, Inc.