Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: A typology and test

Dawn R. DeTienne, Alexander McKelvie, Gaylen N. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Entrepreneurial exit is a major event in the development of a venture. However, we have little understanding of the factors that drive the development of an important pre-cursor to exit: the exit strategy of the founder. Based on the existing literature, we develop a typology of entrepreneurial exit strategies consisting of three higher-level exit categories (i.e., financial harvest, stewardship, and voluntary cessation) and develop an initial test of our typology. Specifically, we examine entrepreneurs' perceived innovativeness of their opportunity, motivational considerations, decision-making approach, founding team, and firm size. Our results show different predictors for each of the three exit strategy types and represent a significant contribution to the understanding of exit strategies in new ventures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Causation
  • Entrepreneurial exit
  • Exit strategies
  • Motivation
  • Stewardship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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