failed or failing venture

research and critically analyze a failed or failing venture
This piece of coursework will require you to research and critically analyze a failed or failing venture. Choose a medium to large size business that has failed in the past 10 years or is currently experiencing significant financial problems. It should be a publicly listed company (so you can access shareholders’ reports) and covered by reputable sources in the business and news media (e.g. Forbes, BusinessWeek, BBC). You will use tools and concepts drawn from lecture material and independent study to identify root causes of failure on multiple levels and develop a turnaround or exit strategy.

A good assignment will:

• Conduct a multi-level analysis to identify and evaluate the root causes of failure, and any changing conditions or major decisions that were central to the failure process
• Present an overview of company performance prior to and after the time period during which failure occurred
• Understand failure as a process rather than as an event, i.e. illustrate how failure develops over time
• Offer considered rationale for turnaround or exit strategy recommendations
• Include a balance of analytical and descriptive writing, as well as diagrams where necessary
• Frame and support analysis and argument with relevant academic literature
• Be clearly structured and written with references in Harvard style format


1. Introduction – Introduce the case with evidence (25%)
2. Identify – Conduct a systematic multi-level root cause analysis (40%)
3. Strategies – Develop and present a turnaround or exit strategy (25%)
4. Conclusion – Summaries and present key takeaways (10%)

Reading list
BALCAEN, S., 2006. 35 years of studies on business failure: an overview of the classic statistical methodologies and their related problems. The British accounting review, 38(1), 63–93.

BERRYMAN, J., 1983. Small Business Failure and Survey of the Literature. International small business journal, 1(4), 47-59.

SHARMA, S., 1980. Early Warning Indicators of Business Failure. Journal of marketing, 44(4), 80–89.

WATSON, J., 1993. Defining Small Business Failure. International small business journal, 11(3), 35-48.

ARTINGER, S., 2015. Entrepreneurial failure: statistical and psychological explanations. Strategic management journal,.

GELDER, J.-L. van., 2007. Differences in Psychological Strategies of Failed and Operational Business Owners in the Fiji Islands. Journal of small business management: advancing entrepreneurship research worldwide, 45(3), 388–400.

KHELIL, N., 2016. The many faces of entrepreneurial failure: Insights from an empirical taxonomy. Journal of business venturing, 31(1), 72-94.

HONJO, Y., 2000. Business failure of new firms: an empirical analysis using a multiplicative hazards model. International journal of industrial organization, 18(4), 557-574.

MATA, J., 1995. The Survival of New Plants: Start-up Conditions and Post-Entry Evolution. International journal of industrial organization, 13(4), 459-481.

MICHAEL, S.C., 2008. Entrepreneurial failure: The case of franchisees. Journal of small business management : advancing entrepreneurship research worldwide, 46(1), 73-90.

RICHARDSON, B., 1994. Understanding the Causes of Business Failure Crises: Generic Failure Types: Boiled Frogs, Drowned Frogs, Bullfrogs and Tadpoles. Management decision, 32(4), 9-22.

SHEPHERD, D., 2000. New venture survival: Ignorance, external shocks, and risk reduction strategies. Journal of business venturing, 15(5-6), 393-410.

THORNHILL, S., 2003. Learning about Failure: Bankruptcy, Firm Age, and the Resource-Based View. Organization science, 14(5), 497-509.

WATSON, J., 1993. Small Business Failure and External Risk Factors. Small business economics, 11(4), 371-390.

BYRNE, O., 2015. Different Strokes for Different Folks: Entrepreneurial Narratives of Emotion, Cognition, and Making Sense of Business Failure. Entrepreneurship : theory and practice, 39(2), 375-405.

CORBETT, A., 2007. How Corporate Entrepreneurs Learn from Fledgling Innovation Initiatives: Cognition and the Development of a Termination Script. Entrepreneurship : theory and practice, 31(6), 829-852.

RIDER, C., 2015. Organizational Failure and Intraprofessional Status Loss. Organization science, 26(3), 633-649.

SINGH, S., 2007. Coping with entrepreneurial failure. Journal of Management and Organization, 13(4), 331-344.

SHEPHERD, D., 2009. Moving forward: Balancing the financial and emotional costs of business failure. Journal of business venturing, 24(2), 134-148.

UCBASARAN, D., 2010. The nature of entrepreneurial experience, business failure and comparative optimism. Journal of business venturing, 25(6), 541-555.

DEICHMANN, D., 2014. Rising from Failure and Learning from Success: The Role of Past Experience in Radical Initiative Taking. Organization science, 25(3), 670-690.

MUELLER, B.A., 2014. Making the Most of Failure Experiences: Exploring the Relationship Between Business Failure and the Identification of Business Opportunities. Entrepreneurship : theory and practice,.

UCBASARAN, D., 2013. Life After Business Failure: The Process and Consequences of Business Failure for Entrepreneurs. Journal of management, 39(1), 163-202.

WOLFE, M., 2015. ‘Bouncing Back’ From a Loss: Entrepreneurial Orientation, Emotions and Failure Narratives. Entrepreneurship: theory and practice, 39(3), 675-700.

YAMAKAWA, Y., 2015. Rising From the Ashes: Cognitive Determinants of Venture Growth After Entrepreneurial Failure. Entrepreneurship: theory and practice, 39(2), 209-236.