Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Cynthia L. S. Pury, Committee Chair
Dr. Fred S. Switzer, III
Dr. E. Erin Powell
Courage is defined by Rate (2010) as an intentional behavior toward worthy goals involving risk. Previous research examining courage has emphasized the risk component of courage, but in large part neglected the worthy goals component. Furthermore, previous courage research has primarily examined courage as a prevention-focused behavior as a singular event. This study sought to explore courage as the pursuit of a promotion-focused goal over a long period of time. Specifically, this study examined courage in the context of starting a business. Latent/nascent entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs were interviewed to investigate courage and other constructs, including goal commitment and a novel concept called in this study, â€œthe point of no return,â€ which seems to reflect a pivotal experience involving complete commitment to oneâ€™s goals and a heightened sense of self-efficacy. Specifically, this study compared differences between latent/nascent entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs regarding their perceptions of the importance of courage in starting a business, how committed they were to their entrepreneurial goals, and if they had experienced a point of no return related to starting a business. Results indicated that there was no significant difference between latent/nascent entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs regarding their perception of courage being important in starting a business; nearly every interviewee regarded courage as important in starting a business. Additionally, actual entrepreneurs reported significantly higher levels of commitment to their entrepreneurial goals than latent/nascent entrepreneurs. Lastly, actual entrepreneurs reported having experienced a point of no return significantly more often than did latent/nascent entrepreneurs. Limitations to this study and proposed future research is discussed.
Hardy, Benjamin, "Does It Take Courage to Start a Business?" (2016). All Theses. 2585.