PURPOSE : Although emerging research has linked impulsivity with the decision to start a business, scholars have yet to draw implications for later-stage entrepreneurial outcomes. Furthermore, the authors have still to derive a parsimonious profile of the multidimensional impulsivity construct which can be positively linked to the entrepreneurial context. This paper proposes and tests a model to explain how impulsivity may relate to entrepreneurial perseverance—a construct typically regarded as a pivotal later-stage entrepreneurial outcome.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : Data were collected from 807 owner-managers using an online survey and augmented with the novel use of longitudinal data from the central registrar of companies in South Africa. Covariance-based structural equation modeling and a D2 indexing approach for forming an entrepreneurship-prone impulsivity profile were employed.
FINDINGS : Results show that multidimensional impulsivity is significantly, but differentially, related to entrepreneurial perseverance; the perceived desirability of entrepreneurship mediates this effect for two of the four impulsivity dimensions. In particular, the authors find evidence that insufficiency of deliberation enhances, while urgency hinders, perseverance—reflected behaviorally through the filing of annual returns over a three-year period. Furthermore, the authors derive a new entrepreneurship-prone impulsivity profile which begins to suggest an intraindividual profile of impulsivity traits which may be beneficial to the entrepreneurial context.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : By demonstrating how impulsivity impacts entrepreneurial perseverance over time, this paper advances emerging research on the relationship between impulsivity and entrepreneurship, while contributing to explaining why the perseverance decision is not simply a matter of venture pecuniary benefits and feasibility.