To read this content please select one of the options below:

An emotional intelligence model of entrepreneurial coping strategies

Saurav Pathak (Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
Sonia Goltz (Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 3 February 2021

Issue publication date: 27 May 2021




The purpose of this article is to recognize emotional intelligence (EI) as a specific emotional competency possessed by entrepreneurs that facilitates their coping with stressors that arise in their day-to-day work. Highlighting the problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies employed by entrepreneurs, the paper establishes that EI in entrepreneurs enables the onset of acceptance of the existence of a stressful situation and that of optimism that a stressful situation can be solved.


The paper reviews literature on the topics related to links between EI, entrepreneurial behaviors and entrepreneurial coping. Subsequently, acceptance-avoidance motivation theory is used to posit that entrepreneurs' EI serves as an antecedent that (1) guides the selection of their coping strategies through onset of optimism and acceptance of stressful situation, (2) assists in perceiving those situations as either controllable or uncontrollable and (3) shapes the actual process through which entrepreneurs cope.


The proposed conceptual model asserts that entrepreneurs' EI as reflected in their abilities to perceive, use, understand and regulate emotions is key to their coping. EI in entrepreneurs assists them in being optimistic about solving a stressful situation and accepting of such situations as well. Thereafter, selection of a problem-focused or emotion-focused coping strategy or both ensues.


The current work offers a conceptual model that highlights the role of entrepreneurs' EI in coping, integrates both the cognitive and affective components of coping and suggests a variety of avenues for future research. This model extends models of coping that categorize coping types to specify the process thought to be involved. Understanding the role of emotional intelligence in coping with stress by entrepreneurs has theoretical and practical implications which are discussed as well.



Pathak, S. and Goltz, S. (2021), "An emotional intelligence model of entrepreneurial coping strategies", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 911-943.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles