Entrepreneurs' optimism, cognitive style and persistence


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating effects of cognitive style dimensions on the relationship between entrepreneurs’ optimism and persistence.

Design/methodology/approach – This theoretically derived research model is empirically validated using survey data from 198 small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana.

Findings – The study’s empirical findings are that the relationship between entrepreneurs’ optimism and entrepreneurial persistence is enhanced at higher levels of cognitive planning and creating styles. Somewhat interestingly, cognitive knowing style negatively moderates the relationship between optimism and entrepreneurial persistence.

Research limitations/implications – The cross-sectional design of the study does not permit causal inferences to be made regarding the variables examined. Future studies may use longitudinal design to examine the causal links of the variables.

Practical implications – The results of this paper can assist entrepreneurs and policy-makers in understanding the dynamics and processes involved in entrepreneurial decision making. The understanding of this issue can promote the development and maintenance of entrepreneurial ventures.

Originality/value – The paper has a strong theoretical value as it relies on cognitive explanations of human behaviour, and seeks to advance the theoretical field by demonstrating the value of cognitive style within the domain of entrepreneurship.



Ghana, Developing country, Cognitive style, Entrepreneurial persistence, Entrepreneurs optimism


Adomako, S., Danso, A., Uddin, M. and Damoah, J.O., (2016) Entrepreneurs’ optimism, cognitive style and persistence. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 22 (1), pp. 84-108


Research Institute

Finance and Banking Research Group (FiBRe)