When the Heartbeat Quickens Things are Set in Motion: Experiential Learning Processes of Portfolio Entrepreneurs

Katharina Poetz, Marion Poetz

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Portfolio entrepreneurs, i.e., entrepreneurs who simultaneously master multiple businesses, are particularly relevant for the creation of economic value. Portfolio entrepreneurship has thus gained scholarly attention. However, related processes of how portfolios are developed by the entrepreneurs are little investigated. Drawing on experiential learning and affective events theory we carve out learning events from six longitudinal, in-depth case studies of portfolio entrepreneurs operating in the small food processing industry of a developing country to investigate how the processing of events that are experienced as pleasant or unpleasant and with higher or lower levels of arousal influences learning directions and the entrepreneurs - behavior relative to starting, improving, maintaining, and quitting businesses. Findings indicate that affectivity indeed influences learning directions and changes in the entrepreneurs business portfolios. Notably, learning and change are set in motion on the basis of getting aroused by others" success, exposure to modern technologies, and internal management problems. However, some counterintuitive patterns emerged, particularly with regards to portfolio entrepreneurs starting new businesses though they are not particularly engaged, and the role of "side businesses" and "keeping-alive strategies". These patterns are inductively explored in more detail to contribute to a better understanding of entrepreneurial dynamics and growth in general, and how portfolio entrepreneurship unfolds in particular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Number of pages33
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe DRUID Society Conference 2014: Entrepreneurship - Organization - Innovation - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Duration: 16 Jun 201418 Jun 2014
    Conference number: 36


    ConferenceThe DRUID Society Conference 2014
    LocationCopenhagen Business School
    Internet address

    Cite this