Switch or Persevere? The Effects of Experience and Metacognition on Persistence Decisions

Document Type


Publication Date





This paper extends the scholarly understanding of entrepreneurial persistence decisions by identifying individual-level constructs that moderate which decision criteria have the most influence on entrepreneurs’ persistence decisions. Prior research demonstrates that contextual factors, such as feedback through adversity and the attractiveness of opportunities in an entrepreneur’s environment, determine whether or not an entrepreneur will persist with their current venture. We contribute to this literature by theoretically proposing and empirically testing how individual differences in entrepreneurial experience, metacognitive experience, and metacognitive knowledge moderate which aspects of environmental information entrepreneurs pay the most attention to when deciding whether or not to persist. We test our proposed model using a conjoint experiment that allows for monitoring actual persistence decisions of 124 entrepreneurs. Results suggest that metacognitive knowledge influences persistence decisions primarily through altering the impact that probability of expected outcomes associated with potential alternatives has on entrepreneurs’ persistence decisions. Furthermore, the results provide evidence that more experienced entrepreneurs weigh financial returns and switching costs more heavily when making persistence decisions.