Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Capital Development


Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Heather Annulis

Committee Chair Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 2

Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Member 2 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 3

Dale Lunsford

Committee Member 3 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 4

Quincy Brown

Committee Member 4 Department

Human Capital Development


Entrepreneurship is increasingly considered the most efficacious economic development intervention, but employing research-informed efforts is important. Extensive literature links the perception of a local culture’s intolerance of business failure to extinguishing of entrepreneurial intention in a community. Some research refutes that link. This study investigated the influence of perceived failure intolerance (PFI) on entrepreneurial intention—and the influence of self-efficacy on perceived failure intolerance—in the rural Midwestern United States. The study employed a modified Delphi methodology to analyze the decision-making processes of potential entrepreneurs as interpreted by experts in rural entrepreneurship. The study provides data about the interaction of human capital and entrepreneurship, for more effective support of potential entrepreneurs. The study concludes that PFI is not a critical hindrance to entrepreneurial intention in potential entrepreneurs in the rural Midwest, but PFI can discourage certain types of people from becoming potential entrepreneurs. Communities can intervene to increase the likelihood of developing collective entrepreneurial intention.