Causal modelling of failure fears for international entrepreneurs in tourism industry: a hybrid Delphi-DEMATEL based approach


Abstract Purpose

This paper aims to recognise and identify fears of failure in the international entrepreneurship ecosystem and find the effects of these fears on each other to reduce these increasing effects and minimise the mental barriers for potential entrepreneurs. Therefore, this research is beneficial to strengthen international entrepreneurial personality and to reduce the shadows of fears on entrepreneurs’ minds. To address this purpose the international tourism industry has been investigated in the emerging economy of Iran. Design/methodology/approach

This paper is organised based on experts' opinions, and then factors are identified by literature review and are finalised through the Delphi method with a panel of practical and academic experts. These fears are categorised using a questionnaire and factor analysis (FA) technique. The respondents were entrepreneurship students and tourism entrepreneurs. Subsequently, the effect and importance of fears of failure are scored and ranked by some experts. These fears were analysed through decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The results presented the effects of fears of failure in the international entrepreneurial in the tourism industry and the relationship amongst them. Findings

The first two fears are respectively “fears of future” which are caused by the unclear situation; and “fear of losing credit” that is due to the importance of “personal relationships” in Iranians culture. As pointed out by results, “fear of future” is the most effective group of factors that may lead to other fears too. This fear seems important in the international entrepreneurial tourism industry because of future ambiguity. Originality/value

This study indicates the relations between groups of fears and offers some practical and applicable solutions to reduce these effects. To the best knowledge of the authors, analysing the relationship between fears amongst the entrepreneurs has not been investigated previously.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.



Hashemi, S.S., Amoozad Mahdiraji, H., Azari, M. and Razavi Hajiagha, S.H. (2021) Causal modelling of failure fears for international entrepreneurs in tourism industry: a hybrid Delphi-DEMATEL based approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research,


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)