Identities can potentially serve as powerful elements that both drive, and are shaped by, entrepreneurial actions. Entrepreneurial identity is a complex construct with multidisciplinary roots, and therefore there is scope to more fully enrich our theoretical understanding of identity and identity formation, at both individual and organizational levels, and their relationship to entrepreneurial processes, practices and activities.
This book highlights two key features of contemporary research on entrepreneurial identity. First, to see it as a dynamic rather than a (relatively) fixed and unchanging feature, shaped by different life episodes. It is increasingly fluid, multilevel and multidimensional, comprising multiple subidentities rather than a univocal (and unchanging) self. As such, it has a profound effect not only on the way we feel, think and behave, but also on what we aim to achieve. Accordingly, it is vital that its dynamics are better understood, particularly in determining how actors behave in an entrepreneurial context. The book’s second focus is on identity work as the process through which entrepreneurial identities are formed and shaped, and the contributors demonstrate how the dynamics of identity formation relate to entrepreneurial outcomes in a range of individual and organizational contexts. This book was originally published as a special issue of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development.
1. Identity, identity formation and identity work in entrepreneurship: conceptual developments and empirical applications Claire M. Leitch and Richard T. Harrison
2. Identity capital: an exploration in the context of youth social entrepreneurship Kate V. Lewis
3. Entrepreneurial passions and identities in different contexts: a comparison between high-tech and social entrepreneurs Ronit Yitshaki and Fredric Kropp
4. Entrepreneurs’ social identity and the preference of causal and effectual behaviours in start-up processes Gry Agnete Alsos, Tommy Høyvarde Clausen, Ulla Hytti and Sølvi Solvoll
5. Developing optimal distinctiveness: organizational identity processes in new ventures engaged in business model innovation Yuliya Snihur
6. Emergent identity formation and the co-operative: theory building in relation to alternative organizational forms Teresa Nelson, Dylan Nelson, Benjamin Huybrechts, Frédéric Dufays, Noreen O’Shea and Giorgia Trasciani