Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: a typology and test

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DeTienne, Dawn R.
McKelvie, Alexander
Chandler, Gaylen N.

DeTienne, Dawn R.; McKelvie, Alexander; Chandler, Gaylen N. 2015. Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: a typology and test. Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 30:no. 2, March 2015:pp 255–272


Entrepreneurial exit is a major event in the development of a venture. However, we have little understanding of the factors that drive the development of an important pre-cursor to exit: the exit strategy of the founder. Based on the existing literature, we develop a typology of entrepreneurial exit strategies consisting of three higher-level exit categories (i.e., financial harvest, stewardship, and voluntary cessation) and develop an initial test of our typology. Specifically, we examine entrepreneurs' perceived innovativeness of their opportunity, motivational considerations, decision-making approach, founding team, and firm size. Our results show different predictors for each of the three exit strategy types and represent a significant contribution to the understanding of exit strategies in new ventures.

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