The role of skill versus luck in new venture survival

Aracely Soto-Simeone*, Charlotta Siren, Torben Antretter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
151 Downloads (Pure)


In our paper ‘New venture survival: A review and extension’ in the Interna- tional Journal of Management Reviews, we synthesized more than five decades of entrepreneurship, management and sociology research on the reasons why some new ventures survive and others fail. Based on our review and analysis, we provided an up-to-date systematization of the literature and a framework that includes important extensions to Stinchcombe’s seminal work. Coad and Storey criticized our framework for basing venture outcome on skill—something that can be influenced by entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. In this paper, we argue that: (i) the distinction between survival and performance matters when thinking about the antecedents of these constructs; (ii) gambling is an incom- patible analogy for entrepreneurship; and (iii) psychological processes cannot be ignored when studying new ventures’ survival. We also correct some points made by Coad and Storey about our findings. We encourage future studies on new venture survival to be cautious of adopting a view of venturing as a ‘game of chance’—which is, in our perspective, a potentially discouraging view for people pursuing entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Early online date28 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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