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Bouncing back from bankruptcy to venture again: Narratives of entrepreneurial antifragility

Rawal, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5185-1735 (2021). Bouncing back from bankruptcy to venture again: Narratives of entrepreneurial antifragility. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Brunel University London)


Drawing on the concept of antifragility as a lens, this thesis explores how once bankrupted business venture owners bounce back to venture again. Examined through the prism of ‘microstoria’: the creation and sharing of contemporaneous storylines by people frequently overlooked in entrepreneurship research, the research focused on the narrative accounts of twenty UK-based entrepreneurs who have come out of bankruptcy to venture again. Data for the empirical inquiry were chiefly collected using the semi-structured interviews and publicly available documents on entrepreneurship and bankruptcy in the UK. The thesis makes contribution to knowledge in three main areas. First, it demonstrates that the once bankrupted business owners go through a series of three stages to recover from their bankruptcy entailing: determining for the cause of the failure, embracing negative bankruptcy experiences, and undertaking a series of coping measures. This enables them to develop an internal attributional style by taking control of their actions, increase their self-efficacy, and benefit from the bankruptcy by developing antifragility as an ‘entrepreneurial competence’. Second, this competence allows the venture founders to engage in long-term reflexive and experiential learning behaviours which allow the business owners to prospectively sense-make and form deeper high-order moments of learning which are harnessed to restart. Third, a range of supporting organising practices were found to impact the development of antifragility. A theoretical grounded model has been formed through a synthesis of the research findings. The model encompasses the steps and factors involved in returning to entrepreneurship post-bankruptcy by forming antifragility as an organising capability. A series of practical implications, and some relevant policy implications of the study are set out to support the effective management of entrepreneurship and bankruptcy in practice.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
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