Journal Articles

Navigating interpersonal feedback seeking in social venturing: The roles of psychological distance and sensemaking (Journal of Business Venturing)

This study advances understanding of interpersonal feedback seeking as a relational micro-foundational process whereby social entrepreneurs proactively involve others in venturing and engage in sensemaking when this fails. Our inductive analysis of 82 interviews with 36 social entrepreneurs reveals the agency in and the plurality and precariousness of feedback seeking by identifying three distinct feedback-seeking trajectories. Feedback seeking is an identity-driven process whereby how and why social entrepreneurs seek feedback depends on their psychological closeness to the targeted social issue. Our study elucidates the relationship between identity and feedback processes and uncovers psychological distance from the social issue as a new construct in social venturing.

Bringing the family logic in: From duality to plurality in social enterprises (Journal of Business Ethics)

Social enterprises combine activities, processes, structures, and meanings associated with multiple institutional logics that may pose conflicting goals, norms, values, and practices. This in-depth multi-source case study of an ecological social enterprise in Malaysia reveals how the enactment of the family logic interacts with the market and ecological logics not only in conflicting but also in synergetic ways. By drawing attention to the institutional logic of the family in social entrepreneurship, this study highlights the heterogeneity of social enterprises. The findings have implications for research with social enterprises and family-owned firms in relation to the ethical obligations of these organizations and the interactions of multiple logics.

Working for impact, but failing to experience it: Exploring individuals’ sensemaking in social enterprises (Business & Society)

Individuals start and join social enterprises to catalyze social impact but may not subjectively experience their work as impactful. In this article, we inductively uncover when social enterprise members question the impactfulness of their work and how they engage in sensemaking to experience their work as impactful. Exploring the experiences of members across two social enterprises with different missions, we provide insights into instances creating ambiguity of or discrepancies in impactfulness and unearth how individuals navigate these in different circumstances with two distinct sensemaking practices: internalizing and compensating. We reveal the efforts required to experience work as impactful, highlight the heterogeneity and agency in maintaining this perception, and suggest a potential dark side for members and missions of social enterprises.

Narrating career in social entrepreneurship: Experiences of social entrepreneurs (Journal of Social Entrepreneurship)

The purpose of this qualitative study is to contribute to the scholarship on career success within the social entrepreneurship context. Based on the career accounts of eighteen social entrepreneurs in Malaysia, the study’s findings provide a nuanced perspective of the Career Success Framework and explicate career success for social entrepreneurs as multifaceted across personal and social goals. The findings provide nuance to how the four broad dimensions of the Career Success Framework (material concerns, social relations, learning and pursuing one’s own projects) are experienced and perceived in the social entrepreneurship context. The emergent career success framework of social entrepreneurs suggests that perceived career success is appraised with nine sub-dimensions captured within the broad dimensions of the Career Success Framework in ways that challenge taken-for-granted assumptions in careers research, while also highlighting the tensions social entrepreneurs face.

When do negative emotions arise in entrepreneurship? A contextualized review of negative affective antecedents (Journal of Small Business Management)

Entrepreneurship can provide personal fulfillment but is uniquely poised to also provoke emotional suffering. Scholarly attention on negative moods and emotions (affect) in entrepreneurship has gained momentum, yet reviews to date have focused on the consequences of affect while our understanding of its antecedents remains fragmented. This neglect is concerning as the conditions that trigger negative emotions are consequential to entrepreneurial cognition, behavior, and well-being. In the current article, we synthesize the findings of 52 empirical sources that contribute to our knowledge of the antecedents of negative affect during entrepreneurship activity. This results in a framework of entrepreneurs’ negative affective antecedents organized by (1) the temporary state of the self, (2) the entrepreneurial occupation, (3) interactions with others, and (4) venture circumstances. Overall, this systematic effort contextualizes affect in entrepreneurship and provides a roadmap for future research that is more closely representative of the diverse lived experiences of entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial Disappointment: Let Down and Breaking Down, a Machine-Learning Study (Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice)

Despite its importance, our understanding of what entrepreneurial disappointment is, its attributions, and how it relates to depression is limited. Drawing on a corpus of 27,906 semi-anonymous online posts, we identified entrepreneurial disappointment, inductively uncovered its attributions and examined how depression differs between attributions. We found that posts with internal, stable, and global disappointment attributions (e.g., not fitting entrepreneurial norms) are, on average, higher in depression symptoms than posts with external, unstable, and specific disappointment attributions (e.g., firm performance). Our findings offer novel theoretical and methodological avenues for future research on entrepreneurs’ affective experiences and mental health.

Beyond the lone hero: How interpersonal feedback seeking helps entrepreneurs to engage with their social environment (Applied Psychology: An International Review)

Entrepreneurs are often depicted as lone heroes. However, they are encouraged to seek and use feedback from their social environment to refine their venture ideas and enhance performance. Surprisingly, systematic research on entrepreneurs’ feedback-seeking is in its infancy, and this nascent research is marked by conceptual vagueness about the feedback-seeking process and the limitations of related concepts. This article leverages the rich research on feedback seeking from organizational behavior/applied psychology to explicate the nature of entrepreneurs’ interpersonal feedback seeking while considering the specific demands of entrepreneurship. We delineate feedback seeking from related concepts and theorize a process model of how entrepreneurs seek feedback to pursue instrumental, ego, symbolic, and relational goals, resulting in outcomes not only for entrepreneurs but also for their ventures and immediate and wider social environments. This article provides a foundation for research on entrepreneurs’ feedback seeking that is attentive to their personal goals and vulnerabilities while also considering the impact of this process on their social environment. Our conceptual model also offers new insights for organizational behavior/applied psychology research on feedback seeking in relation to the future of work.

Whom to Ask for Feedback: Insights for Resource Mobilization From Social Entrepreneurship (Business & Society)

Social entrepreneurs need resources to develop their organizations and catalyze social impact. Existing research focuses on how social entrepreneurs access and use resources, yet it neglects how they search for resource holders. This issue is particularly salient in social entrepreneurs’ decisions about whom to approach for interpersonal feedback as a valuable resource. The current literature offers lists of individuals whom social entrepreneurs approach for feedback and implies these individuals can be easily accessed. Thus, it offers little insight into how social entrepreneurs select whom to approach for feedback and why, or why they struggle to access feedback. We conducted an in-depth inductive study based on 82 interviews with 36 nascent social entrepreneurs to investigate how they search for and select individuals to approach for feedback within and outside their social networks through an iterative appraisal process. Our findings start to open the black box of searching for resource holders in the resource mobilization process and offer insights on power and stigma in social entrepreneurship.

Book Chapters

“Who am I? Who am I becoming? And why does it matter?”: An overview of social entrepreneurs’ identities and their impact on social venturing (De Gruyter Handbook of Social Entrepreneurship)

Like all individuals, social entrepreneurs have identities that help them answer the questions “Who am I?”, “Who am I becoming?”, “Who do I want to be?” based on roles and relationships with others, membership to social categories, and personal characteristics. While identities matter for all individuals, they are critical in social entrepreneurship because they influence who engages in the process and how this process unfolds with lasting impact on social ventures. This chapter provides an overview of social entrepreneurs’ identities, how these identities influence the social venturing process, and consequently how the social venturing process shapes social entrepreneurs’ identities. It enriches portrayals of social entrepreneurs from heroic figures to multidimensional individuals belonging to a heterogeneous category whose work changes how they see and define themselves. Overall, this chapter explicates the bidirectional relationship between social entrepreneurs’ identities and their social ventures and offers suggestions for future research that can enrich our understanding of the actors involved in social entrepreneurship and how this process unfolds.

How do refugee entrepreneurs navigate institutional voids? Insights from Malaysia (Disadvantaged Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem)

In this study, the authors develop in-depth understanding of how refugee entrepreneurs navigate institutional voids in market participation in Malaysia. The authors employ an inductive research design consistent with recent research investigating adversity and disadvantaged entrepreneurship. The findings of this study reveal that refugees adopted different, gendered approaches to navigate institutional voids in market participation. The women refugees in this study anchored towards safety by leveraging legitimacy of market intermediaries (e.g. social ventures and refugee support organisations) to gain protection for entrepreneurial activities and access markets while conducting their labour at home. The men refugees in this study engaged in harbouring – concealing entrepreneurial activities in the local community or under others’ identities to protect income-generating opportunities. The findings of this study thus provide nuance and demonstrate plurality in how refugee entrepreneurs navigate institutional voids, contributing towards more holistic understanding of refugee entrepreneurship, offering insights for development agencies, policy-makers, and other institutions on how to support refugees’ entrepreneurial activities.

The person in social entrepreneurship: A systematic review of research on the social entrepreneurial personality (The Wiley Handbook of Entrepreneurship)

This chapter presents a systematic review of 50 empirical studies on the social entrepreneurial personality. It aims to answer the question of who social entrepreneurs are in order to help understand why certain individuals but not others create social ventures and persist in their choice. The review findings reveal a focus on four distinct aspects of personality—motivations, traits, identities, and skills—and are based on three approaches: describing the personality of social entrepreneurs, comparing them to another group, and relating personality aspects to outcomes such as strategic choices or performance. The findings offer a multidimensional and refined account of who social entrepreneurs are. Social entrepreneurs are simultaneously driven by a range of motivations and values which include but are not limited to prosocial concerns. Certain extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are shared by commercial and social entrepreneurs. Social and commercial entrepreneurs also seem to exhibit similar entrepreneurial personality traits and benefit equally from transformational leadership skills. Emerging research points to further distinct social traits and identities. Important avenues for future research include paying attention to heterogeneity among types of social entrepreneurs, encouraging more theory-based research, research relating personality to personal and venture-level outcomes, research that considers more dynamic and contextualized perspectives, as well as research on a potential dark side of the social entrepreneurial personality.

Social entrepreneurship: Methods of, and challenges in, catalysing positive social change (Entrepreneurship: A contemporary and global approach)

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining the attention of policy makers, media outlets and academics due to its significant role in economies and societies. Despite its growing importance and visibility, social entrepreneurship is still a contested concept and a phenomenon with challenges. In this chapter, we introduce and define the interrelated concepts of social entrepreneurship, social entrepreneur, and social enterprise. We examine the core dimensions of social entrepreneurship through the lens of the 5 Ss: social issue, solution, social impact, sustainability and scale. Throughout, we present the challenges social enterprises face in a contextualized manner and highlight cases of social entrepreneurship in diverse con- texts in the global North and South.

Social entrepreneurship: Blending prosocial motivation and self-interests in business (Selflessness in Business)

Social entrepreneurs intend to, start, lead, and manage new organizations that catalyze social change through market mechanisms. While such economic activity can be considered an epitome manifestation of prosocial motivation in business, prosocial motivations and self-interest are not mutually exclusive in social entrepreneurship. This conceptual book chapter explicates the self-interests of social entrepreneurs. It proposes that both prosocial motivation and self-interest fuel social entrepreneurship and examines how they interact and change over time to create synergies or conflicts that influence the wellbeing of both social entrepreneurs and social ventures. It proposes that conflicts between prosocial motivations and self-interests can hinder the wellbeing of social entrepreneurs and their ventures, while meaningful synergies can enhance the wellbeing of social entrepreneurs and social ventures. Thus, this chapter portrays social entrepreneurs as multidimensional human beings and highlights the importance of social entrepreneurs’ wellbeing.

Impact investment in Southeast Asia: An overview and framework (Handbook of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Research)

Aiming to finance solutions to various social and environmental challenges, impact investment is growing in importance in Southeast Asia. Acknowledging the unique aspects of the region, this chapter provides an overview of impact investment in Southeast Asia and offers a framework to present the decision principles, developments, dynamics, and key participants in the impact investment field in the region. The framework highlights the diversity of impact investment activities and participants in Southeast Asia and offers a foundation for future research. It also helps individuals to identify opportunities to contribute to social and environmental change in different ways.

Women entrepreneurs and wellbeing: An identity perspective (The Wellbeing of Women in Entrepreneurship)

Recognizing the importance of women entrepreneurs for economies and societies, researchers and policy makers are increasingly interested in supporting women’s entrepreneurship activities. Enhancing the wellbeing of women entrepreneurs is essential not only as an ethical imperative but also as a mechanism to understand and improve the process and outcomes of women’s entrepreneurship activities. This chapter employs an identity lens to offer a novel perspective on women entrepreneurs’ wellbeing in a way that is reflective of their nuanced and subjective experiences across multiple local and national contexts. The chapter presents the findings of a literature review on women entrepreneurs’ identities and wellbeing to explicate the multidimensional relationship between women entrepreneurs’ identities and their sustainable eudaimonic and temporal hedonic wellbeing. It maps out the multiple identities salient to women entrepreneurs and considers three main themes: 1) entrepreneurship as an authentic expression of a positive identity, thus contributing to women entrepreneurs’ eudaimonic wellbeing; 2) women entrepreneurs’ multiple conflicting and synergetic identities influencing hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing; and 3) identity work as an active approach to enhance hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing. The chapter concludes with a consideration of what the findings mean for researchers, women entrepreneurs, and for actors in entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Temporary Arts Spaces: A conceptual framework (Creative (and Cultural) Industry Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century)

This chapter offers a conceptual framework to explicate the current configurations of temporary art spaces in the United Kingdom (UK), and how they seek to support the interests of artists as self-employed individuals. The chapter begins with a review of the literature on artists’ (temporary) spaces. Next, we present a conceptual framework of the dimensions of temporary art spaces and explore how they support or hinder entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries to create and sustain their businesses and their wellbeing. The framework questions notions of temporary art space design that are often taken for granted by putting the most fundamental facets of the space (time and use) under a microscope. It can be used as a basis for future research into temporary art spaces and as a way to design better spaces that prioritise artists and their ways of working. 

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