Thesis defense of Stela Ivanova, May 14, 2019

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Stela Ivanova will defend her PhD thesis “Emotions, Decisions, Actions: The Psychology of Entrepreneurship”. This thesis has been supervised by prof.dr. F. Langerak and dr. T. Treffers (TUM). The ceremony will take place in room 0.710 of the Atlas building, Eindhoven University of Technology at 11:00 hrs.


Using a psychological perspective to investigate the entrepreneurship phenomena, this thesis aims at increased understanding of the micro-foundations of entrepreneurial action to paint a more dynamic, fine-grained and immersed picture of the entrepreneurial journey. The three empirical studies in this thesis investigate entrepreneurial actions, central to the main phases of the new venture creation process. In each of those three phases individual psychological constructs such as emotions, cognition and behavior play important role.

The first study is set in the pre-launch phase of a new venture creation. During this phase entrepreneurs need to form beliefs about an existing opportunity in order to successfully identify an opportunity for new venture creation. Therefore, the first research question that this thesis answers is: How entrepreneurs come to believe that a given opportunity for new venture creation is desirable for them and whether that same opportunity is feasible for them? During the development and execution phase of the new venture creation, entrepreneurs take actions to define their business concept and to acquire resources, however these actions not always lead to the successful creation of a new venture and instead many entrepreneurs disengage from the new venture creation process. Consequently, the second research question that this thesis sets to answer is: Which actions undertaken during the development and execution phase of the new venture creation predict shorter time to disengagement? In the post-launch phase of the venture, to ensure venture survival and growth, entrepreneurs need to build and sustain viable relationships with significant others. Thus, the final research question, relevant to this phase is: How does regulation of negative emotion influence new venture co-founders’ relationship viability?