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Narrating entrepreneurial Identities: How achievement motivation influences restaurateurs' identity construction?

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Entrepreneurial identity is emergent and develops through interaction with various actors. The previous identity literature has presumed that motives remain stable over time, yet as individuals mature their motivations and goals often change. This chapter investigates how entrepreneurs adapt their entrepreneurial self-stories to their changed goals. To achieve this we explore seven high-profile restaurateurs' business lives and show how their stories have been reinvented over time. Three different narratives are employed to illustrate the entrepreneurs' original career choices: dream follower, serendipitous craftsman and forced opportunist. By demonstrating how achievement motivation affects restauranteurs' need to either belong or be distinct and thus their construction of their narrative entrepreneurial identity, our research enhances existing work on identity construction by highlighting the close relationship between restaurateurs' career stage and their emphasis on either the need for belonging or the need for distinctiveness. To be more precise our research finds that while restaurateurs' early identities centred on presenting themselves as chefs, their subsequent depictions are wrapped up in their social identity to a much great extent, representing the restauranteurs as whole rounded people rather limiting them to a particular role.

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... As individuals are homo fabulans who create stories to present themselves and their context in a desirable way (Boje, 2001), narratives allow entrepreneurs to contextualize their own entrepreneurial action through the stories they tell (Markowska & Welter, 2018). When experiences are imbued with meaning, both context and the entrepreneur emerge together; they become co-created (Garud & Giuliani, 2013). ...
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Previous research on the psychology of entrepreneurs found that personality traits such as locus of control failed to distinguish entrepreneurs from managers. In search of an individual characteristic that is distinctively entrepreneurial, we proposed an entrepreneurial self-efficacy construct (ESE) to predict the likelihood of an individual being an entrepreneur. ESE refers to the strength of a person’s belief that he or she is capable of successfully performing the various roles and tasks of entrepreneurship. It consists of five factors: marketing, innovation, management, risk-taking, and financial control.
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We develop a new theory that views organizational founding as involving a role transition. Through the construct of founder role identity, we delineate how identity centrality and complexity affect individuals' ability to exit a work role in order to undertake founding activities. We argue that individuals are challenged to adjust to the founder role requirements and incorporate the new role into an overall self-concept. We then delineate how configurations of founder role identities influence persistence, and the longer-term outcomes of dormancy and successful founding.
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Recent research on entrepreneurship has focused largely on macrolevel environmental forces [Aldrich, H. (2000). Organizations evolving. Beverly Hills: Sage] and the characteristics of entrepreneurial opportunities [Christiansen, C. (1997). The innovators dilemma. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press]. Although researchers adopting this focus have rightly criticized much of the existing empirical research on the role of human motivation in entrepreneurship [Aldrich, H., & Zimmer, C. (1986). Entrepreneurship through social networks. In D. Sexton & R. Smilor (Eds.), The art and science of entrepreneurship (pp. 3–23). Cambridge, MA: Ballinger; Adm. Sci. Q. 32 (1987) 570], we believe that the development of entrepreneurship theory requires consideration of the motivations of people making entrepreneurial decisions. To provide a road map for researchers interested in this area, we discuss the major motivations that prior researchers have suggested should influence the entrepreneurial process, as well as suggest some motivations that are less commonly studied in this area. In addition to outlining the major reasons for exploring these motivations, we identify the major weaknesses that have limited the predictive power of previous research on this topic. We offer explicit solutions for future research to adopt to overcome these problems.
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This paper explores the reasons that nascent entrepreneurs offered for their work and career choices and compares those responses to the reasons given by a group of nonentrepreneurs. Six separate factors accounted for 68% of the variance: self-realization, financial success, roles, innovation, recognition, and independence. The factor scores of nascent entrepreneurs and nonentrepreneurs were not significantly different on self-realization, financial success, innovation, and independence. Nascent entrepreneurs rated reasons concerning roles and recognition significantly lower than nonentrepreneurs. Finally, gender differences in reasons also emerged; male nascent entrepreneurs and nonentrepreneurs rated financial success and innovation higher than did females, regardless of their group of origin.
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Self-determination theory (SDT) maintains that an understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. We discuss the SDT concept of needs as it relates to previous need theories, emphasizing that needs specify the necessary conditions for psychological growth, integrity, and well-being. This concept of needs leads to the hypotheses that different regulatory processes underlying goal pursuits are differentially associated with effective functioning and well-being and also that different goal contents have different relations to the quality of behavior and mental health, specifically because different regulatory processes and different goal contents are associated with differing degrees of need satisfaction. Social contexts and individual differences that support satisfaction of the basic needs facilitate natural growth processes including intrinsically motivated behavior and integration of extrinsic motivations, whereas those that forestall autonomy, competence, or relatedness are associated with poorer motivation, performance, and well-being. We also discuss the relation of the psychological needs to cultural values, evolutionary processes, and other contemporary motivation theories.
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The act of entrepreneurship typically confers 'distinctiveness'. However, in satisfying the psychological need to be distinct, entrepreneurs may at the same time foster a psychological deficit in feelings of belonging, leading to diminished psychological well-being. Investigating this potential trade-off through the lens of Optimal Distinctiveness Theory, we develop and model strategies appropriate for managing multiple identities, offering an explanation for why some entrepreneurs are able to balance distinctiveness and belonging, fostering psychological well-being, while others are unable to do so and experience entrepreneurship's 'dark-side'.