The role of emotions in new venture creation

Kirsi Snellman

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Building on the emergent view in entrepreneurship literature that highlights emotional, creative, and contextual features as integral to the entrepreneurial process, this dissertation embraces the real-life challenges in transforming opportunities into venturing by addressing the research question asking what is the role of emotion in new venture creation. This question is approached by way of three more specific subquestions addressed in the appended essays, each of which uses distinct methodologies and looks into the decisions that serve as inputs to the early stages of the entrepreneurial process. The first essay highlights the challenge of making the decision to start a venture and demonstrates how anticipated regret can motivate individuals to engage in business gestation activities, thus complementing cognition-focused explanations to deciding to start a venture, and departing from views that treat negative emotions as detrimental to venture creation. The second and third essay highlight the challenge of attracting external resources and seek to explore the decisions to support a venture from the stakeholders' perspective. The second essay theorizes how excitement and fear-of-missing out can supplement angel investors' rational reasoning through their capacity to influence creativity, information processing, and risk perceptions in their investment decisions, thus complementing prior accounts that have mostly emphasized rational reasoning and hard criteria. The third essay demonstrates how angel investors' emotions unfold in their investment evaluation as they interact with their environment, and develops a model that distiguishes between different types of validation (subjective, social) in different stages of the process, thus contributing to the socially embedded dynamic view of opportunity evaluation. These results indicate that emotions serve as a sensitive compass to assist in navigating a sea of infinite options when building new ventures. Elaborating how emotions can influence potential entrepreneurs' decision to start a venture, as well as stakeholders' decision to support the venture, this dissertation sheds new light on how emotion can serve as a tool to overcome the challenges that are typical in the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. In so doing, it takes a step toward a more integrative view of the role of emotions in new venture creation.
Translated title of the contributionThe role of emotions in new venture creation
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Kautonen, Teemu, Thesis Advisor
  • Cacciotti, Gabriella, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7589-1
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7588-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • emotions
  • new venture creation
  • decision making
  • opportunity evaluation
  • entrepreneurial finance


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