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Postprint version. Published in Asia Pacific Journal of Management, November 27, 2018, pages 1-18.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-018-9612-x.
This paper examines psychological and behavioral mechanisms that underlie business growth expectations by examining how managerial optimism and self-regulatory focus influence learning behaviors. To empirically examine these relationships, the study situates in a resource-constrained business context by studying managers in two Pacific Island economies. Results indicate that a positive view toward gains encourages exploratory learning in unknown situations; whereas, a less optimistic disposition and avoidance are related to exploitative learning. This finding is consequential as managerial learning that leans toward development of new insights and possibilities is associated with greater business growth expectations versus learning that adheres to familiar and proven ideas and alternatives. The study results have implications for both practice and theory.
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