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Biography & Abstract
Rasmus Koss Hartmann

Rasmus is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Society and Communication at CBS. His research deals with issues of technological change, innovation and entrepreneurship as they relate to organizational processes.

Beckerian Distortions in Entrepreneurial Learning

This conceptual study challenges the assumption that entrepreneurial learning increases entrepreneurial effectiveness. Entrepreneurial learning is filtered through myths about entrepreneurship brought about by the Entrepreneurship Industry. When this is the case, entrepreneurial learning can be subject to Beckerian Distortions that decrease entrepreneurial effectiveness. Beckerian Distortion is what happens in learning processes where individuals learn to re-interpret negative experiences as positive and pleasurable (Becker, 1953: Becoming a Marihuana User). With Beckerian Distortions, entrepreneurs can learn to reinterpret negative market signals as indicative of entrepreneurial progress and venture viability. This can lead to ‘learned ineffectiveness’, where entrepreneurs do learn but learn things that lead them to perform worse if they had not learned at all. Beckerian Distortions not only drive behavior that reduces performance, but can also bolster an increased sense of entrepreneurial identity, despite of the absence of positive entrepreneurial outcomes, and an increased stigmatization of non-entrepreneurial careers. This can deter exit from an (un-successful) entrepreneurial career trajectory and ‘trap’ individuals in precarious work

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