The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this paper seeks to formalize a definition of activist entrepreneurship and differentiate it from social entrepreneurship…
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this paper seeks to formalize a definition of activist entrepreneurship and differentiate it from social entrepreneurship. Second, this paper proposes a model that explains how the storytelling process, in the form of the message and means of communication, influences the activist identity process and consequently the legitimacy of the activist entrepreneur.
This paper explains the historical method and offers an overview of the unique case of Madam C.J. Walker and analyzes how she gained legitimacy as an activist entrepreneur by conveying psychological capital (Psycap) concepts in her message and political skill in the means of her communication. The paper also analyzed books being written on her and also letters that were exchanged between herself and her lawyer F.B. Ransom.
The authors have found out that Madam Walker used Psycap elements such as self-efficacy, hope, resiliency and optimism as message and elements of political skill such as social astuteness, interpersonal skill, networking ability and apparent sincerity as means to communicate the message toward her followers and built a legitimate social identity where she had won the trust of them.
The primary limitation of this paper is that it is theoretical in nature and uses only one case study to support the theoretical model. However, when analyzing complex relationships, historical cases offer a wealth of insight to solve the problem at hand.
By using the elements of the model discussed in the research paper properly, people could create a legitimate identity for themselves where any message they give to their employees, colleagues and sub-ordinates would be viewed as a selfless one and that would increase the chances of their messages or orders being accepted and obeyed by the followers.