Ambitious entrepreneurship : antecedents and consequences
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerp :UA, 2012
Research paper / UA, Faculty of Applied Economics ; 2012:023
University of Antwerp
In the recent literature on entrepreneurship, a growing body of knowledge recognizes that some entrepreneurs have higher ambitions than others and that these entrepreneurial ambitions are an important antecedent of actual firm success. Consequently, it is not surprising that ambitious entrepreneurship gradually becomes a topic of high interest for policy makers and scholars (e.g., Gundry and Welsch, 2001; Van Gelderen, 2006). Nevertheless, there does not yet exist a clearly defined overview of what is known (and not known) about this topic. Moreover, although authors advocate that the difference between high and low entrepreneurial ambitions should be recognized (Cassar 2007), few studies actually distinguish between ambitious entrepreneurs and their less-ambitious counterparts. In this paper, we address this gap and provide a structured overview of existing literature on ambitious entrepreneurship. Our analysis confirms that ambitious entrepreneurs might be an interesting population for the research community as well as for policy makers and other practitioners. Indeed, it suggests that ambitious entrepreneurs have a specific impact upon the economy and contribute to the quality of entrepreneurial activity. From a conceptual point of view, the review reveals that there is no consensus with regard to the operationalization of ambitious entrepreneurship and growth ambitions in general. As outcomes of this review, we indentify promising paths for future research and we propose the concept of a projecting process to clarify the link between growth attitude, growth intention and growth expectation.