Abstract: Existing research has offered conflicting narratives of how entrepreneurial experience influences whether founders will continue working on or disengage from their ventures. We theorize and test how entrepreneurs with varying levels of experience disengage from early-stage companies. Findings reveal a U-shaped relationship, such that novices and highly experienced entrepreneurs are more likely to quit their ventures, while moderately experienced entrepreneurs are more likely to persist in their pursuits. We offer both theoretical and empirical explanations for how the propensity to disengage from new ventures evolves with entrepreneurial experience.
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