Munich Personal RePEc Archive

An integrative framework of attributions after a business failure

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph (2014): An integrative framework of attributions after a business failure. Forthcoming in: European Business Review (2015)


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Purpose – Although business failure has garnered a plethora of scholarly attention, there remains an ambiguity and lack of clarity about the process and types of attribution after a business failure. This article examines types of attributions after a business failure. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a synthesis of the multiple streams of research on the subject. This led to the development of an integrated framework of attributions after business failure. Findings – The paper integrates the business failure literature and attribution theory to develop a 2x2 conceptual framework which not only accounts for the effect on pace (time), but also locus of causality in the attribution process. Crossing the two main causes of business failure with two types of attribution produces the 2x2 matrix of types of attribution after a business failure which includes: early internal attribution, late internal attribution, early external attribution and late external attribution. Research limitation/implications – Our theorisation of the literature offers a number of implications for theory and practice. Originality/value – The study also explains the underlying processes inherent in learning from others’ failures and consequences of business failure. Our framework removes some of the ambiguity in the existing literature and outlines a number of fruitful avenues for future research.

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