Key Contributors to Business Insolvencies and the Effects of Business Insolvencies to the Entrepreneurs

Wermescher, Christina (2019) Key Contributors to Business Insolvencies and the Effects of Business Insolvencies to the Entrepreneurs. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/WERM2793

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Based on the existing management literature, this study aims to fill the identified gaps within the current knowledge in the field of insolvencies. The research aims to contribute to this current knowledge by gaining deeper understanding of the key contributors to insolvencies considering a broad time frame and the entrepreneurs’ personality. Furthermore, the study aims to evaluate the effects that the entrepreneurs experience through an insolvency in a comprehensive way. The participants were 12 former CEOs and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that became insolvent. With those 12 participants, narrative interviews were conducted. Additionally, the 12 participants administered the NEOFFI questionnaire to examine the possible influence of their personality traits on the key contributors identified in the narrative interviews. The research identified a number of key contributors to their insolvencies. These were poor leadership, lack of knowledge and experience, overconfidence, inappropriate or risky contract design, and insufficient funds. These key contributors were the responsibility of the CEOs. Other key contributors, like influences of market dynamics and the loss of customers, in the reviewed cases predominantly lay outside the CEOs’ control, but their handling of these situations was based on their experience, knowledge, skills and personality. The following outcomes of the insolvency processes were predominantly experienced in a similar way by the participants: they had to deal with the experience of failing and its stigmatisation, suffered the loss of image and influence, faced poverty and daily life problems and had to undergo the poor perspective of the future due to unemployment and the long good conduct phase. However, the reactions of the environment, the effects on their own person and health as well as positive aspects were experienced in very different ways. In reactions of the environment there seemed to be the tendency that the close environment (family) was supportive, but going further outside to friends, acquaintances and others, more and more negative reactions were reported. For all participants the insolvency was a time of personal trauma and three participants even had to face serious illnesses. Asking the participants if they feel like they have changed through the insolvency, their responses varied. While some felt discouraged, with less energy or more mistrust, others saw their change more positively and felt calmer and as a more likeable person. The analysis of the average NEO-FFI values of the participants was conducted by a ttest using IBM SPSS Statistics 23.0. This t-test showed high significance (<0,05) for neuroticism with p(N)=0,000, extroversion with p(E)=0,007 and conscientiousness p(C)=0,000. Examining the values of the single cases, just two of the twelve NEO-FFI profiles showed the values of all five dimensions: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness, within the standard range. Within the analysis of the single cases, the test values, that were differing more than two standard deviations from the values of the normative comparison groups, were triangulated with the interview data of the same participants. This showed significantly high values of extroversion as a possible supporter of the key contributors, especially of risky decisions and insufficient funds.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: Thesis in English, Interview transcripts in appendices are in German.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business insolvency, contributing factors; Germany; Business insolvency, impact on entrepreneurs
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5387 Business Ethics
H Social Sciences > HG Finance > HG4001 Finance management. Business finance
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 15:16
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 12:47

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