Feedback valence during business idea development: predictor of performance, motivator of change, or both?

Patricia S. Borchert, Linda Rochford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the lack of resources available to small business owners, it is important to examine specific actions within new product development processes that firms can take to improve the performance of new business ideas. This research explored the relationships between feedback valence, action, and performance during business idea development in small businesses. Using a sample of 98 small business owners, findings suggest that feedback positivity is related to higher performance; feedback negativity influences the extent of changes made to the product; and those changes contribute to increased performance. Additionally, by examining high and low intensities of positive and negative feedback, it appears that positive feedback can have detrimental effects (over-predict performance and dampen product changes). This article examines feedback as a mechanism by which input from external others contributes to product performance in small firms, and suggests specific feedback-seeking behaviors to improve the success of new business ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-395
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the Roy LaBounty Center for Entrepreneurship, Labovitz School of Business and Economics, University of Minnesota, Duluth for financial support, and the State Office of the Minnesota Small Business Development Centers for logistical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Journal of the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship/Conseil de la PME et de l'entrepreneuriat.


  • feedback
  • new product development
  • new product success
  • small business innovation


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