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Too emotional to succeed: entrepreneurial narratives in a prosocial setting

Asma Naimi (Department of Organization Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Daniel Arenas (Universitat Ramon Llull-ESADE, Barcelona, Spain)
Jill Kickul (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Sahar Awan (Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 7 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the effectiveness of cognitive and emotional appeals to mobilize resources in prosocial crowdfunding settings that combine the creation of economic and social value.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors quantitatively measure the effectiveness of cognitive and emotional appeals in the entrepreneurial narratives of 2,098 entrepreneurs from 55 countries shared via the Kiva platform by performing multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that using cognitive appeals can attract more resources than using emotional appeals. In fact, using affective language in general, and negative emotion words specifically, can be detrimental and attract fewer resources.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship literature by linking insights from the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion and motivational framing to understand resource mobilization in prosocial settings. This study demonstrates that cognitive and emotional appeals could lead to different outcomes in contexts where entrepreneurial narratives are all framed as “doing good” and individuals allocating resources are highly socially motivated.

Keywords

Citation

Naimi, A., Arenas, D., Kickul, J. and Awan, S. (2022), "Too emotional to succeed: entrepreneurial narratives in a prosocial setting", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-11-2020-0800

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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