Post-failure impression management: A typology of entrepreneurs’ public narratives after business closure

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


What are the strategies entrepreneurs apply to present business closure to public audiences? Most entrepreneurs choose to communicate venture failure publicly so as to foster a favorable impression of failure, in effect engaging in impression management to maintain and/or repair their professional reputation for future career actions. To date, however, the focus of most research has been on managing failure within organizational settings, where organizational actors can interact closely with their audiences. We know little about entrepreneurs’ strategies in presenting failure to public audiences in cases where they have limited opportunities for interaction. In response to this, we present an analysis of public business-closure statements to generate a typology of five venture-failure narratives—Triumph, Harmony, Embrace, Offset, and Show—that explains entrepreneurs’ distinct sets of impression-management strategies to portray failure in public. In conclusion, we theorize from our public venture-failure typology to discuss how our work advances understanding of the interaction between organizational failure, impression management, and entrepreneurial narratives.

ZeitschriftHuman Relations
Seiten (von - bis)286-318
Anzahl der Seiten33
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.02.2021
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the Academy of Finland.