Original Research

Defining Business decline, failure and turnaround: A content analysis

Marius Pretorius
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 2, No 1 | a15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v2i1.15 | © 2015 The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Submitted: 16 July 2015 | Published: 31 December 2009

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Marius Pretorius, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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In the past, researchers have often defined failure to suit their data. This has led to a lack of comparability in research outputs. The overriding objective of this paper is to propose a universal definition for the failure phenomenon. Clear definitions are a prerequisite for exploring major constructs, their relationship to failure and the context and processes involved. The study reports on the core definitions of the failure phenomenon and identifies core criteria for distinguishing between them. It places decline, failure and turnaround in perspective and highlights level of distress and turnaround as key moderating elements. It distinguishes the failure phenomenon from controversial synonyms such as closure, accidental bankruptcy and closure for alternative motives.

Key words and phrases: business decline, failure, turnaround, level of distress


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