Entrepreneurs need resources. Previous research has established that entrepreneurs send signals of "quality" to potential resource providers in order to obtain resources. However, a behavioral research approach would contend that resource acquisition depends on much more than venture quality signals. In this dissertation, I extend beyond the signaling paradigm and investigate the resource acquisition process using a framework contingent on entrepreneur signals, resource provider dispositional differences, and their interactive effects. Specifically, I leverage regulatory focus theory and regulatory fit theory to augment and move beyond the signaling theory approach. Methodologically, I undertake two studies. The first study uses archival field data consisting of a sample of 895 new venture pitches. In each of these pitches, I analyze the displays of promotion and prevention focus sent by entrepreneurs across video and textual narratives. To complete this analysis I develop novel measures of promotion and prevention focus suitable for computer-aided textual analysis (CATA). In the second study, I use a sample of 120 investors and a quasi-experimental approach to assess the moderating role of investor-level promotion and prevention focus on the relationship between entrepreneur displays of promotion and prevention focus and resource acquisition. The findings and their implications are discussed in relation to extant new venture resource acquisition literature and regulatory focus theory.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Management Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Stevenson, Regan, "What's your focus? The impact of regulatory focus on resource acquisition." (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4957.