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Entrepreneurs have what it takes: positively-distinct entrepreneurial social identity as realized during intra- and intergroup conversations

Christopher Hajek (Department of Communication, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study explores aspects of entrepreneurial social identity that are made salient in communication, and that are related to positive group distinctiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a thematic analysis methodology, and the analysis is sensitized by social identity theory and related concepts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 43 entrepreneurs in several US cities. The women and men discussed the nature of their entrepreneurial identities, and the relationship of past intra- and intergroup conversations to their realizations of a positively-distinct entrepreneurial identity. Open and axial coding of the entrepreneurs' verbal conversational content was conducted.

Findings

The analyses revealed four themes (and nine accompanying sub-themes) that represented dimensions of entrepreneurial social identity that were related to positive group distinctiveness.

Practical implications

Findings may prove useful for mutual understanding among current and aspiring entrepreneurs, and for educators and managers with an interest in encouraging entrepreneurial mindsets through training program development.

Originality/value

This study is unique not only in its adoption of an intergroup comparison approach to entrepreneurship that integrates recalled past communication, but also in its focus on positive in-group distinctiveness. The desire for this psychological state may be one motivating force guiding the content of entrepreneurial identity, and it may, for some individuals, be one factor that drives the pursuit of entrepreneurship itself. This study offers themes that break new ground in illuminating dimensions derived from recalled conversational content that entrepreneurs considered key to positive identity salience.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank the editors and referees for the insights and support.

Citation

Hajek, C. (2022), "Entrepreneurs have what it takes: positively-distinct entrepreneurial social identity as realized during intra- and intergroup conversations", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-09-2021-0685

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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