The RICH Entrepreneur: Using Conservation of Resources Theory in Contexts of Uncertainty


  • Stephen E. Lanivich

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    • Stephen E. Lanivich is an Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Old Dominion University, College of Business and Public Administration, Department of Management, 2039 Constant Hall, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA.

  • An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the 2011 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, and appeared in Frontiers of Entrepreneurship. The author would like to thank Gerald Ferris, Chad Van Iddekinge, Annette Ranft, Randy Blass, and Larry Giunipero for providing much needed feedback during the developmental stages of this study.


This research was designed to extend the scope and conversation of conservation of resource theory (COR) to contexts of uncertainty, including entrepreneurship. In doing so, the resource-induced coping heuristic (RICH) construct is introduced, developed, and validated. Results from two investigations, involving three samples and a total of 813 participants, indicated strong reliability, and internal validity for the theoretically justified, three-factor measure. Also, results of validity tests show the RICH as a robust predictor of factors pertaining to entrepreneurial success, including financial performance and perceived entrepreneurial success. Practical and academic implications, strengths and limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.