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Natural disasters, entrepreneurship, and creation after destruction: A conceptual approach

Javier Monllor (Department of Management, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Patrick J. Murphy (Department of Management, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 6 December 2017




The purpose of this paper is to contribute a deeper understanding of how natural disasters influence entrepreneurial intentionality as an important antecedent of entrepreneurial intention. It reviews the conceptual and operational backgrounds of natural disaster research and entrepreneurship theories and formulates a distinctive conceptual approach to entrepreneurial intentions in natural disaster settings.


An exhaustive review of research articles published in peer-reviewed entrepreneurship journals is provided and focuses on entrepreneurship, natural disasters, and entrepreneurial opportunities.


Six propositions about the influence of natural disasters on entrepreneurial intentions in ways that are distinct to the specific circumstances of post-disaster environments.

Research limitations/implications

The paper’s findings serve as a useful foundation for future research of post-disaster entrepreneurial behavior. The propositions highlight the relationship between opportunities, self-efficacy, feasibility, desirability, fear of failure, and resilience that complement macro-level research with micro-level antecedents. Implications entail new methodological avenues for future studies of humanitarian and post-disaster entrepreneurial activities.

Practical implications

This paper suggests ways in which public policy and educational, state and community programs can be designed and executed so that entrepreneurial intentions are developed and entrepreneurial action is not hindered. Moreover, it clarifies several ways to achieve more effective action (or inaction) to serve those affected by natural disasters and minimize disaffection.


The study illustrates that natural disasters can and do create opportunities for entrepreneurial behavior even as they generate powerful and sweeping negative effects on socioeconomic systems. Its unique approach explores individual-level variables concerning intent and motivation that drive entrepreneurial decisions in disaster contexts.



Monllor, J. and Murphy, P.J. (2017), "Natural disasters, entrepreneurship, and creation after destruction: A conceptual approach", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 618-637.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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