We introduce componential appraisal theory to the investigation of Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy (ESE) to understand its effect on optimism as well as resulting venturing decisions and information requests. Combining evidence from a cross-sectional scenario study (N = 107) and an online experiment (N = 181), we demonstrate that ESE causes situational optimism when evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities; even when the entrepreneurial situation is neutral with equal expectancies for success and failure. This effect, in turn, led to venturing intentions, i.e., engagement with the entrepreneurial opportunity, but also lowered requests for additional information prior to making the venturing decision. Based on these findings we discuss both the beneficial component of ESE in causing optimism and thereby fueling the motivation to start a venture, but also caution that ESE can lower information request prior to making a venturing decision via the same mechanism, i.e., optimism. Identification of the double-edged consequences of ESE through optimism offers important implications for first time founders, active entrepreneurs and individuals close to the entrepreneurial environment alike in stating: venture but think.
Niklas Kühsel is a PhD Candidate in the field of Entrepreneurship under the Supervision of Prof. Dr. Prisca Brosi and Prof. Dr. Björn Michaelis. His research focuses on the entrepreneurial personality with regard to cognition and emotion and their consequences, as well as success drivers for entrepreneurship. Specifically, the interdependence between emotion and cognition and time contingencies of performance drivers are at the scope of interest. Niklas did his Bachelor in Economics at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, dealing with the potential of microfinance schemes to alleviate poverty in his bachelor thesis. During his Master in Economics at the University of Bath in the UK, he developed a strong interest in behavioral economics and individual decision dynamics. Following, on his Master degree, where he examined the stability mechanisms of cooperative banks during financial crises in his thesis, he started his PhD at KLU in October 2018. To complete his academic education, Niklas has gained practical experience in HR-consulting with Office Angels in London. Experience in Investment Banking was taken up during his time in the Asset Backed Finance and Securitization Department of NordLB in New York.