Small business owner persistence: Do personal characteristics matter?


  • Greg Murphy Idaho State University
  • Neil Tocher Idaho State University
  • Tyler Burch Idaho State University


Recent research suggests that (1) business failure rates are lower than previously thought and (2) business owners exit businesses for myriad reasons besides performance. Despite these findings, relatively little is known about whether personal characteristics (i.e. expectations, competencies, education) of small firm owners influence their likelihood to persist with business ownership. Given this gap, the present study investigates the relationship between owner characteristics and persistence intentions. Framed by threshold theory, we theorize and test whether owner growth expectations, satisfaction, education, competencies, and financial investment influence their persistence intentions. Results indicate that owner future growth expectations for the business, their opportunity recognition abilities, and their satisfaction with the business significantly impact persistence intentions. Implications of study findings are discussed. 


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Author Biography

Greg Murphy, Idaho State University

Professor, Department of Management and Marketing



How to Cite

Murphy, G., Tocher, N., & Burch, T. (2019). Small business owner persistence: Do personal characteristics matter?. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 29(1), 99-114. Retrieved from