The twins "Sense of Failure" and "Sense of Success" in the company formation process (II)

Development of valid and reliable indicators for the "Sense of Failure" and the "Sense of Success" in the company formation process

University of St. Gallen (HSG), Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
University of Fribourg (CH), Department of Education Science

Lead researchers:
Prof. Dr. Thierry Volery (University of St. Gallen)
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. em. Fritz Oser (University of Fribourg)

Duration: 01.05.2014 - 30.11.2015

Building from the work done in Subproject 1, the "sense of failure" construct will be defined more clearly, at greater depth and elaborated further in Subproject 2. The aim is to develop a reliable and valid quantitative instrument.

Assessment of the interviews from Subproject 1 shows that the "sense of failure" is comprised of two components: competence and motivation. These are the decisive factors in overcoming a difficult corporate situation that can cause a company to fail, particularly in the early stages of development.

In the competence-oriented portion, the "sense of failure" is interpreted as a necessary prerequisite for the ability to overcome problems in difficult company situations (REF - Rescue an Enterprise from Failure). The "sense of failure" is comprised of personality traits (1) negative mind set, (2) feelings of guilt and (3) fear of failure.  

Regulatory focus theory forms the basis for research in the motivational portion. It describes what tasks and what objectives are perceived as motivating  and how these may be reached. According to regulatory focus theory, people develop a strategic thought pattern that enables them to regulate their own behaviour. When pursuing their objectives, company founders may alternatively press on the accelerator or step on the brakes. For this portion, the research project develops an entrepreneur-specific regulatory focus scale, which when combined with stimulus, is able to measure the situated self-regulatory focus of company founders in each case.

Project aims: The aim of Subproject 2 is to validate a quantitative measuring instrument for the construct "sense of failure", which is comprised of both competence and motivation.


Project description on the HSG website