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Abstract

Entrepreneurship can provide personal fulfillment but is uniquely poised to also provoke emotional suffering. Scholarly attention on negative moods and emotions (affect) in entrepreneurship has gained momentum, yet reviews to date have focused on the consequences of affect while our understanding of its antecedents remains fragmented. This neglect is concerning as the conditions that trigger negative emotions are consequential to entrepreneurial cognition, behavior, and well-being. In the current article, we synthesize the findings of 52 empirical sources that contribute to our knowledge of the antecedents of negative affect during entrepreneurship activity. This results in a framework of entrepreneurs’ negative affective antecedents organized by (1) the temporary state of the self, (2) the entrepreneurial occupation, (3) interactions with others, and (4) venture circumstances. Overall, this systematic effort contextualizes affect in entrepreneurship and provides a roadmap for future research that is more closely representative of the diverse lived experiences of entrepreneurs.
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When do negative emotions arise in entrepreneurship? A contextualized
review of negative affective antecedents
Accepted for publication in the Journal of Small Business Management
-- this is a preprint draft--
Please cite as:
Williamson, A. J., Drencheva, A., & Wolfe, M. T. (2022). When do negative emotions
arise in entrepreneurship? A contextualized review of negative affective antecedents.
Journal of Small Business Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/00472778.2022.2026952
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When do negative emotions arise in entrepreneurship? A contextualized
review of negative affective antecedents
Entrepreneurship can provide personal fulfillment but is uniquely poised to also
provoke emotional suffering. Scholarly attention on negative moods and emotions
(affect) in entrepreneurship has gained momentum, yet reviews to date have focused
on the consequences of affect while our understanding of its antecedents remains
fragmented. This neglect is concerning as the conditions that trigger negative
emotions are consequential to entrepreneurial cognition, behavior, and well-being. In
the current article, we synthesize the findings of 52 empirical sources that contribute
to our knowledge of the antecedents of negative affect during entrepreneurship
activity. This results in a framework of entrepreneurs’ negative affective antecedents
organized by (1) the temporary state of the self, (2) the entrepreneurial occupation, (3)
interactions with others, and (4) venture circumstances. Overall, this systematic effort
contextualizes affect in entrepreneurship and provides a roadmap for future research
that is more closely representative of the diverse lived experiences of entrepreneurs.
Introduction
Negative emotions and moods (affect)
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are prevalent amongst entrepreneurs, which
begs the oft-overlooked question, why? What stimulus triggers entrepreneurs’ negative
affect? Entrepreneurs sometimes report more negative affect compared to other workers
(Jamal, 2007; Reid et al., 2018; for an exception, see Patzelt & Shepherd, 2011). The chronic
negative affect that entrepreneurs experience overtime is also evident from allostatic load
(the wear and tear on the body due to psychological distress) and physical health markers
(Cardon & Patel, 2015; Cocker et al., 2013; Patel et al., 2019), demonstrating the link
between negative affect and mental and physical well-being. Beyond well-being, negative
affect influences entrepreneurial outcomes. Some negative moods and emotions can, among
other things, stimulate ideas (Eller et al., 2020), enhance resilience (Crane & Searle, 2016),
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The terms “affect”, “moods”, and “emotions” are used interchangeably as proxies for temporary feeling states.
Trait affect is excluded from the umbrella term “affect” in this review due to its dispositional nature.
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and aid learning (Fang He et al., 2017). Conversely, negative affect can also produce
undesirable behaviors and interpersonal interactions (Delgado-García et al., 2015; Foo et al.,
2011) that hinder success. There is no doubt that negative affect is common for and important
to entrepreneurs. Yet, the current understanding of the impact of affect on entrepreneurial
outcomes (Cardon et al., 2012) is in stark contrast with the limited integrated understanding
of the circumstances when negative affect arises during entrepreneurship, as outlined by
Delgado-García et al. (2015).
Considerable research has generated valuable insights on emotional experiences
after engaging in the entrepreneurship process, that is after exiting (e.g., Shepherd, Wiklund,
& Haynie, 2009). Yet, we have limited understanding of entrepreneurs’ negative affect when
engaged in the entrepreneurship process from early start-up activities to scaling their
ventures, including when performing specific actions to mobilize resources (e.g., seeking
feedback, pitching to investors). Furthermore, insight on the drivers of negative affect during
entrepreneurship resides in many journals with different approaches to conceptualizing
entrepreneurship and affect. This approach offers a fragmented understanding of the
antecedents of negative affect in entrepreneurship, while the growing interest in the topic
(see Figure 2) creates opportunities for further fragmentation. Additionally, insights on when
different emotions arise in entrepreneurship are isolated to single studies with little cross-
reference. Yet, examining specific discrete emotions (such as grief: Mantere et al., 2013;
Patzelt & Shepherd, 2011; Shepherd et al., 2011) and understanding their action tendencies
is important because they shape different outcomes for entrepreneurs. For example, high-
activation negative emotions, such as anger, tend to propel energy expenditure and drive
individuals to solve problems and persevere, which can be beneficial for entrepreneurs
(Russell, 2003; Warr, Bindl, Parker, & Inceoglu, 2014). While, low-activation negative
emotions, like sadness, can have the opposite effect and trigger inaction or retreat from
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entrepreneurial pursuits (Williamson et al., in-press). Finally, the antecedents of negative
affect can influence the nature of affective experiences with implications for entrepreneurs’
lives and our ability to accurately predict affect-driven entrepreneurial phenomena. Without
a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the factors that can lead to negative emotions
throughout the entrepreneurial process, it is impossible to determine the best methods for
coping with such emotions to maximize the potential benefits and minimize the potential
detriments during, as opposed to after, the entrepreneurship process.
In an attempt to address these key concerns, the purpose of this review is to
synthesize the empirical base on the antecedents of negative affect during engagement in
entrepreneurship activity. The identified fragmentation of the literature and the importance
of the antecedents of negative affect suggest that the time is right to synthesize what we
know and do not know on the topic to provide a platform for future fruitful dialogues on
affective research in entrepreneurship.
Following Low and MacMillan’s (1988) review approach across key areas for a
research program, this research makes four key contributions with the potential to guide
future research on entrepreneurs’ affect. First, the review offers a novel multidimensional
framework for understanding why negative affect arises during entrepreneurship activity
with a focus on specific affect-eliciting events, beyond failure. Although previous research
has emphasized that entrepreneurs can experience vastly different emotions as a
consequence of venture failure (Byrne & Shepherd, 2015), considerably less attention has
been given to the multitude of other events that can elicit negative emotions during the
entrepreneurship process. We offer an initial multidimensional perspective that addresses
calls to examine the antecedents of entrepreneurial affect (Breugst & Shepherd, 2017) and
can guide future research on non-failure events that elicit negative emotions. Second, we
address recent calls to further our understanding of affect in entrepreneurship (Delgado-
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García et al., 2015; Shepherd, 2015) by mapping out the discrete negative emotions
entrepreneurs experience. A focus on discrete emotions in entrepreneurship offers a pathway
toward conceptual clarity and a foundation for future research, education, and interventions
on how emotions, events, cognitions, and behaviors interact with specific outcomes. Third,
we highlight the socially embedded nature of entrepreneurs’ affect, thus contributing to a
better understanding of how well-being outcomes vary between entrepreneurs (Stephan,
2018). At the micro-level, a lack of social support, interpersonal conflict, interactions with
personally significant and venture-relevant others trigger negative affect (Shepherd &
Cardon, 2009; Tetrick et al., 2000). At the macro-level, social judgments of different types
trigger negative affect amongst entrepreneurs, particularly those who may not fit the
entrepreneurial stereotype (Simmons et al., 2014; Singh et al., 2015). Fourth, this
heterogeneity has implications for how we contextualize affect in entrepreneurship research
and illustrates why and when some entrepreneurs may be prone to ill-being. Consequently,
this heterogeneity questions the generalizability of affective research between contexts that
differ substantially in the source of negative emotional stimuli (e.g., entrepreneurs in adverse
conditions and crises). Next, we detail our reviewing methodology and present its findings.
Thereafter, we discuss the review findings to provide an agenda for future research.
Method
A systematic review of the evidence affords us inclusive insights into the topic
(Tranfield et al., 2003) beyond the confines of a single discipline or perspective. This is
because knowledge on the negative affective antecedents of entrepreneurship resides in
different disciplines that to date have rarely been integrated (e.g., from occupational
psychology focused on the drivers of stress among various occupational groups to
management interested in the entrepreneurial experience).
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To ascertain the antecedents of negative affect in the entrepreneurship process, we
iteratively synthesized the findings of 52 empirical articles published and indexed between
December 2003 and December 31, 2019. We specifically chose to start our collection at this
point because it coincides with the year when the seminal article on “entrepreneurial grief”
by Shepherd (2003) was published, and provided the impetus for a subsequent surge in
scholarly interest specifically focusing on the negative emotional aspects of
entrepreneurship. With regards to ending our data range in 2019, upon the time of our data
collection, 2019 was the final complete year in which articles had been published and
therefore we chose to end our collection at that specific point. A wide net was cast across
disciplines by crafting an exhaustive list of 84 negative affective keywords which spanned
discrete negative emotions (e.g., helpless, disappointed, annoyed) and negative affective
dimensions (e.g., unpleasant emotion, negative mood). A large variety of terms related to
entrepreneurial behavior were also used in the search (e.g., entrepre*, self*employ,
business*owner, owner, venture*owner, venture*manager, emerging venture, new venture,
new business). With this list, our first step was to search the keywords, title, and abstract of
peer-reviewed journal articles using Business Source Premier, Web of Knowledge, and
ProQuest, following the best practice recommendations outlined by Short (2009).
Additionally, we manually reviewed the Journal of Business Venturing Insights, which is
not indexed in the above databases. Finally, we explored forward and backward citations
and included five additional articles.
The above process produced 1152 unique results. As a second step, we excluded non-
empirical articles and articles that did not clearly signal a contribution on the antecedents of
negative affect while engaged in entrepreneurship activities. Third, studies that met the
inclusion criteria were then screened for relevancy. Stable personality traits (e.g.,
extraversion, trait affectivity) were excluded in this step to allow for greater nuance in
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capturing the specific events, circumstances, and interactions that elicit negative affect.
While stable personality traits can be highly influential to the entrepreneurial process (Baron,
2008), the focus of this review is on specific drivers of negative state affect (moods and
emotions) during entrepreneurship. In summary, we removed 603 articles that lacked
negative emotions, 97 that had non-empirical insights (e.g., conceptual and review articles),
260 where the sample did not engage in entrepreneurship activities, 79 where the negative
emotion was not the dependent variable, and 61 devoid of an emotion-provoking event.
Given that this review is concerned with identifying different drivers of negative affect, a
broad conceptualization of “entrepreneur” as an individual who starts, leads, and manages
an organization on their own account and risk was employed (Gorgievski & Stephan, 2016),
which includes self-employed individuals.
Overall, 52 articles from 41 journals were included in the final selection, signifying
88 findings on the relationship between events and entrepreneurial affect
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. Articles were
published in a range of fields: 38% in entrepreneurship journals (e.g., Journal of Business
Venturing), 35% in (occupational) psychology journals (e.g., Journal of Occupational Health
Psychology), 24% in management journals (e.g., Academy of Management Journal), and a
small proportion in sector journals (e.g., International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality
Management).
To conduct a comprehensive assessment, we were guided by Low and MacMillan’s
approach (1988). This approach centers on key areas vital to a research program: theoretical
perspectives, study context, methods, constructs, and levels of analysis. This approach has
also been employed in other reviews in entrepreneurship (Marvel et al., 2016). We started
the analysis with the 52 articles as the unit of analysis to summarize their different theoretical
perspectives, study contexts, and methods.
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A single article may have explored multiple antecedents or more than one type of mood or emotion.
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Next, we employed a more fine-grained unit of analysis. We focused on the
constructs employed within these studies and the specific relationships between events and
affect (see Tables 1 and 2), resulting in 88 event-affect pairs (around 1.7 per article). At this
stage, we engaged in iterative thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to identify
relationships between events and affect, thus unearthing the specific antecedents of negative
affect. The first author started by reviewing the findings of each article and then generated
initial first-order codes for each event-affect pair (Braun & Clarke 2006) that captured
specific antecedents of negative affect during the entrepreneurship process. All first-order
codes within a category were compared to one another to ensure that they reflected the same
antecedents (Braun & Clarke 2006). At this stage, we identified many first-order codes
related to specific events, interactions, circumstances. For example, first-order codes
included “betrayal by associate/competitor”, “conflict with VCs”, and “customer
interactions”. Where possible, the first author differentiated antecedents based on the
discrete emotions they elicited (e.g., anger, disappointment, etc.).
During this process of first-order coding, the first and second authors had regular
debriefing meetings to discuss the analysis, the fit of each code within a category, and the
robustness of categorical boundaries. Once we were confident in the robustness of
categorical boundaries, the first and second authors started to search for, review, and define
second-order themes based on the relationships between first-order categories (Braun &
Clarke 2006). This was not a linear process because we continuously developed new and
made changes to existing themes to reflect instances that did not fit into our themes. At this
stage, we engaged in constant comparison again, this time at the level of themes to ensure
they were clearly differentiated, yet captured the nuanced meaning of the first-order
categories that represented the specific antecedents. For example, in the early stages of the
analysis “work-life conflict” and “close ties” were grouped under the same theme of
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“Personal circumstances”. However, these were later split (Grodal et al., 2021) and added to
the themes of “entrepreneurial occupation” and “interactions with others” respectively
because they were more closely aligned with the other antecedents within these themes.
When we created or changed themes, the new set of themes was used to re-analyze all
antecedents. Ultimately, we identified four main themes that present negative affect
antecedents across levels of analysis as a multidimensional meta-framework: (1) the
temporary state of the self, (2) the entrepreneurial occupation, (3) interactions with others,
(4) and venture circumstances. These themes are summarized in Table 3 and yielded the
most novel insights.
[Table 1 and 2 About Here]
Findings
The 52 articles were the unit of analysis to uncover dominant theoretical
perspectives, study contexts, and methods. The 88 event-affect relationships in the included
articles were the focal unit of analysis to uncover the specific negative affect constructs and
antecedents of negative affect while engaged in entrepreneurship.
Theoretical Perspectives
While affect was at the core of each article reviewed, the articles employed a great
variety of theoretical perspectives. Fifteen articles did not explicitly draw on a theory. Four
articles employed Job Demands-Resources Theory (Bakker & Demerouti, 2017), two
employed Attribution Theory (Wagner & Gooding, 1997), and two Conservation of
Resources Theory (COR; Hobfoll, 1989). The remaining articles respectively used different
theories with no duplication, ranging from Conflict Process Theory (Pondy 1967) to Self-
discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987).
Study Context
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Sample sizes reported in the 52 reviewed studies ranged widely. Three studies used
samples of over 1000 entrepreneurs (n = 2436, 2063, 1107), whereas the rest of the studies
ranged from 1 to 418 participants, with a mean of 141 entrepreneurs (SD = 118.49). Forty-
three studies reported participants’ sex alongside sample sizes (summed participants with
sex reported = 9344). Of these, 67.36% of the participants were men (n = 6294). Five studies
exclusively included entrepreneurs who were women (4) or homosexual (1). Forty-seven
studies reported the location of participants, which included Europe (n = 20), North America
(n = 12), Asia (5), Oceania (5), Africa (4), and South America (1). Sample sizes were larger
in studies with participants from Europe and North America. A total of 86% of all
entrepreneurs were from Europe or North America (50% and 36% respectively), 8% from
Asia, 4% Oceania, and 1% from South America and Africa each.
The majority of studies did not report the industries entrepreneurs worked in. Four
reported an even split between a range of industries, and ten studies contained samples of
entrepreneurs predominantly from the medical (2), agricultural (3), and the service sectors
(5). Three experimental studies were made up of students.
Methods and Analyses
Thirty-three articles (63%) employed quantitative approaches, seventeen (33%) used
qualitative methods, and two employed mixed methods. Negative affect was measured from
self-reported measures or coding of self-disclosures in all studies (e.g., news media: Smith
& McElwee, 2011). Independent variables were generally measured from the same source
(83%), with a few exceptions, such as in experimental studies and when key events were
used as the explanatory variable. Forty-one percent of the studies with a quantitative design
used multi-wave data collection methods. Most quantitative analyses were performed with
structural equation models (65%), linear regressions (15%) or multivariate regression
models, with the remaining 12% reporting analyses from t-tests, correlations analyses, and
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cross-tabulation. Data were collected via written (28) and oral surveys (4), interviews (15),
experiments (3), a focus group, and archival data.
Negative Affect Constructs
Now we shift the focal unit of analysis from the 52 articles, to the 88 event-affect
relationships identified in these articles. There was a significant emphasis in the literature
on non-specific affective groupings, broadly defined as depressive feelings, emotional
exhaustion, negative affect, and emotional stress (56% of the 88 event-affect relationships,
as illustrated in Table 2). This trend was intensified in entrepreneurship journals. At the same
time, few empirical articles examined the drivers of discrete emotions, such as anger,
frustration, fear, discouragement, shame, regret, guilt, and sadness. This is particularly
important because research has indicated that emotions which elicit different levels of
activation, either low (i.e., sadness, depressed affect) or high (i.e., fear, anger), can have
substantially different influences on cognitive processes and decision making (Coker, 2020;
Sohn et al., 2015). Thus, entrepreneurship scholars are yet to capitalize on the lens of discrete
emotions to gain a better understanding of affect. Yet, discrete emotions have received
attention in conceptual articles (i.e., grief; Shepherd, Wiklund et al., 2009) in
entrepreneurship journals and play a significant role in the prediction of entrepreneurial
outcomes (i.e., fear: Cacciotti et al., 2016).
[Table 3 About Here]
Antecedents of Negative Affect in Entrepreneurship Across Levels of Analysis
In this section, we outline the stimulus of negative affect in entrepreneurship, which
includes both non-specific affective groupings and discrete emotions as dependent variables.
This is organized in relation to our four emergent categories of antecedents across levels of
analysis: (1) the temporary state of the self; (2) the entrepreneurial occupation; (3)
interactions with others; and (4) venture circumstances.
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The State of the Self as an Antecedent of Negative Affect
Entrepreneur’s own transient cognitions, choices, and behaviors can trigger negative
affective experiences. We refer to these antecedents of negative affect as state-self-driven
antecedents. The reviewed articles highlighted that entrepreneurs are susceptible to negative
affect due to life aspects, such as diet, exercise, poor health (Schonfeld & Mazzola, 2015),
and other experiences that deplete energy. For example, a two-week experience sampling
study demonstrated that poorer than usual sleep is associated with subsequent high-
activation negative daily moods (anxious, tense) amongst entrepreneurs (Williamson et al.,
2019). Similar findings were reflected with cognitive processes. For example, entrepreneurs
who felt they were “running on automatic without much awareness” of what they were doing
(low mindfulness) had higher emotional exhaustion in a sub-sample of 107 entrepreneurs
(Roche et al., 2014), while founders who reported ruminating about work (i.e., thinking
about work after waking up in the morning) at time one had greater emotional exhaustion at
time two (Soenen et al., 2019). Similarly, entrepreneurs who did little in response to negative
events (e.g., such as trying to think about the situation differently or taking medication)
tended to experience greater negative affect (Patzelt & Shepherd, 2011). These studies all
conform to the idea that when physical and mental resources are depleted and efforts are not
made to replenish these resources, entrepreneurs are likely to experience greater subsequent
negative affect (Fredrickson, 2001; Hobfoll, 1989; Meijman & Mulder, 1998).
The same line of reasoning may indicate that positive cognition begets subsequent
positive affective experiences. Yet, reviewed studies showed that transient positive
appraisals of negative or ambiguous events can, in fact, be associated with downstream
negative affect (c.f., Baron et al., 2012). For example, qualitative research drawing on
entrepreneurial disgrace in the media (Smith & McElwee, 2011) concluded that pride and
hubris in response to crisis events was a key factor in driving negative affective experiences,
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such as shame. Similarly, in quantitative research, Dawson (2017) found that favorable
financial expectations tended to lead to greater disappointment amongst entrepreneurs.
On another line of inquiry related to the state of the self, the reviewed articles
demonstrated that when entrepreneurs felt ill-equipped for the cognitive and emotional
demands of entrepreneurship, they experienced more negative affect. For example,
entrepreneurs who did not currently feel well suited to their entrepreneurial job were more
likely to feel emotionally exhausted (de Mol et al., 2018). This finding is consistent with
other work which has related the typical profile of an entrepreneur (risk-tolerance, intuition,
etc.) with positive affective experiences (Murnieks et al., 2019). This may help explain a
link between entrepreneurial training and anticipated negative affect. Quasi-experimental
research by Zampetakis et al. (2015) showed that as individuals become more well-versed
in all of the potential challenges that they could face when pursuing entrepreneurial
endeavors, they tend to experience higher levels of anticipatory negative affect as a result of
these expectations. Conversely, for those who do not complete entrepreneurship education
programs, “ignorance is bliss” as they are unlikely to experience anticipatory grief because
they are unaware of the entrepreneurial challenges that they might face.
The Entrepreneurial Occupation as an Antecedent of Negative Affect
The second category of antecedents of negative affect in the reviewed articles related
to the entrepreneurial occupation with its job design and work-life conflict. This category of
antecedents was examined in approximately one-quarter of the studies.
Job design. There is no shortage of evidence to illustrate that the entrepreneurial
occupation is highly demanding (Benz & Frey, 2008; Hundley, 2001; van Gelderen, 2016)
and “characterized by stress, a multiplicity of obstacles and demands, and uncertainty
regarding outcomes” (Schindehutte et al., 2006, p. 354). Fifteen percent of all articles
reviewed focused on the typical occupational demands faced by entrepreneurs, with mostly
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independent sole-entrepreneur samples. Demands of the role, such as role conflict, role
overload, and role ambiguity, were associated with feelings of depression and emotional
exhaustion (Kallioniemi et al., 2016; Shepherd et al., 2010; Wincent & Örtqvist, 2009;
Wincent et al., 2008). Findings regarding work demands and feelings of depression, stress,
emotional exhaustion, and anxiety were consistent over a range of geographical locations.
For example, with a sample of 289 entrepreneurs from mainland China, Wei, Cang, and
Hisrich (2015) found that high workload led to greater levels of emotional exhaustion (i.e.,
frustration) and emotional callousness. Not only were broad role demands identified as
antecedents of negative moods and emotions amongst entrepreneurs, but so were specific
entrepreneurial tasks, such as registering for taxes (Jones et al., 2017).
A striking antecedent of negative affective experience amongst entrepreneurs in
relation to their occupation was loneliness (Morris et al., 2010). Entrepreneurs tend to work
by themselves, or in a small group, and, as a result, they are often isolated from others.
Consequently, entrepreneurs who work alone were reported to experience emotional stress
due to their isolation (Millsteed et al., 2017). Additionally, loneliness was shown to trigger
a range of negative affect amongst business owners. For example, how connected
entrepreneurs felt in their role (occupational loneliness) was associated with feelings of
emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion (e.g., tired, trapped, helpless) (Fernet et al.,
2016). Similarly, Pollack, Vanepps, and Hayes (2012) reported that, in accordance with
Social Support Theory, a lack of daily contact with a network intensified the negative
relationship between financial stress and negative affect (depressed affect, hopelessness).
Work-life conflict. Some of the demands and tensions experienced in
entrepreneurship can spill over and negatively impact upon the personal lives of
entrepreneurs, thus triggering negative affect. The reviewed articles highlighted that work-
life balance concerns had a direct impact on negative affect, such as emotional exhaustion
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(McDowell et al., 2019), emotional stress and disappointment due to a lack of time for leisure
(Carree & Verheul, 2012). However, not all entrepreneurs experienced the same level of
work-life conflict. Of those who did experience work-life conflict not all developed the same
level of negative affect as a result. Work-to-family conflict was predominantly experienced
by women entrepreneurs, particularly those with children who experienced guilt because of
family support requirements (McLellan & Uys, 2009).
Interactions with Others as Antecedents of Negative Affect
The reviewed articles illustrated that interactions with personally significant and
venture-relevant others can trigger negative affect amongst entrepreneurs. This includes
close social ties, team members, institutional agents and intermediaries.
Close ties. Close social ties are important for entrepreneurs and their ventures
(Arregle et al., 2015; de Jong & Marsili, 2015) because they provide resources and help
entrepreneurs to cope with stressors (Nelson, 1989). Yet, business owners tend to have less
social support than employees or business managers (Tetrick et al., 2000), which is
associated with levels of depression, anxiety, and anger (Ariza-Montes et al., 2017).
Moreover, individuals are more likely to enter self-employment if they are married (Özcan,
2011), which suggests that the expectation of spousal support is an important factor for
entrepreneurial behavior. In light of this, the reviewed articles revealed that low levels of
social support relate to negative affect (Chadwick & Raver, 2019; Kollmann et al., 2017),
such as emotional stress and depressive feelings or more extreme stress appraisals (among
women, not men) that lead to increased anxiety and depression (Chadwick & Raver, 2019).
Additionally, close ties could directly impact upon the negative affective experience of
entrepreneurs by being over-controlling (Dutt et al., 2016) and through emotion contagion
(Werbel & Danes, 2010). Werbel and Danes (2010) found evidence of emotion contagion
between spouses’ emotional stress, even when controlling for the potential confound of
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work-family conflict. Moreover, trusted friends (and business partners) are capable of
betraying trust and thus could provoke a range of negative emotions, such as anxiety and
frustration (Schonfeld & Mazzola, 2015). As entrepreneurs are prone to over-trust others
(Goel & Karri, 2006), it is surprising that the affective implications of betrayal were not
explored more.
Entrepreneurial team members. Conflict between team members was a well-
recognized source of negative affect in the reviewed studies. Research demonstrated that
negative affect was triggered by interpersonal friction (Breugst & Shepherd, 2017; Lechat
& Torrès, 2017), idea conflict (Breugst & Shepherd, 2017), and equity distribution choices
(Breugst et al., 2015). The perceived loss or absence of a business partner was also associated
with fear in experimental research (Kollmann et al., 2017). Additionally, entrepreneurs who
had the direct responsibility of managing employees had stronger feelings of emotional
stress (Godin et al., 2017). This finding is in line with research by Hessels, Rietveld, and van
der Zwan (2017) which revealed higher levels of work-related stress (e.g., propensity to
become physically ill) among entrepreneurs with employees in a nationally representative
survey. Research also indicated that entrepreneurs with employees have higher levels of
emotional exhaustion (Wei et al., 2015), compared to other entrepreneurs. Although general
“problems in the last month with employees” were related to depressive feelings (Fernet et
al., 2016), multiple specific reasons in relation to employees were also identified in the
empirical base. Qualitative research showed that depressive feelings could arise from
conflict with or between employees and from having to fire employees (Fernet et al., 2016).
Mixed-methods research indicated that problems in the lives of employees (e.g., serious
illness) could trigger feelings of emotional stress amongst entrepreneurs (Lechat & Torrès,
2017).
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Conflict with external entrepreneurial actors. Entrepreneurs have been named “the
vagaries of the marketplace” (Buttner, 1992, p. 224) due to their “boundary-spanning
activities, which involve interactions with a variety of [] stakeholders such as []
customers, suppliers, regulators, lawyers, and investors” (Cardon & Patel, 2015, p. 5).
Interactions with diverse stakeholders could result in conflicts over strategic issues that
increase the tensions that entrepreneurs experience (Zietsma & Winn, 2008) and stimulate
negative affect. Interestingly, interactions and conflicts with different actors (e.g., customers,
investors) could trigger diverse discrete negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, fear,
shame, and disappointment, potentially due to power differentials and expectations.
The reviewed studies showed that conflict with customers was a driver of negative
affect. Entrepreneurs saw conflicts with customers as a key source of negative affect (Lechat
& Torrès, 2016) and attributed feelings of anger, anxiety, and frustration to unreasonable
customer expectations (Schonfeld & Mazzola, 2015). Moreover, due to technological
changes, interactions with customers are increasingly taking place online. As a result,
customers are becoming more expressive (Patterson et al., 2009) in communicating their
discontent with services and products online. In this context, the evidence showed that
negative online reviews triggered feelings of anger, and to a much lesser extent guilt and
embarrassment (Bradley et al., 2016; Weber et al., 2017).
The reviewed evidence also indicated that interactions with regulatory actors could
trigger negative affect amongst entrepreneurs (Goss & Sadler-Smith, 2018). Qualitative
research with Russian entrepreneurs showed that when entrepreneurs interacted with state
officials to progress their work (i.e., acquire authorizations), they experienced strong
feelings of fear, frustration, and shame (Doern & Goss, 2014).
Conflict is well recognized as a regular part of interactions between entrepreneurs
and investors (Collewaert & Sapienza, 2016; Drover et al., 2014) because of asymmetry in
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beliefs about readiness for investment (Douglas & Shepherd, 2002) and in power. While
important progress has been made in understanding how feelings of trust emerge between
entrepreneurs and investors (Maxwell & Lévesque, 2014; Zahra et al., 2006), little is known
about the impact of investor-entrepreneur interactions on entrepreneurs affective
experiences. Only one qualitative study highlighted that an entrepreneur’s perception of
fairness, unethical behavior, and conflict triggered anger and frustration (Collewaert &
Fassin, 2013). Yet, there is evidence to suggest that entrepreneurs experience disappointment
when reflecting on the value added by venture capitalists (Vaidyanathan et al., 2019).
Negative judgments and marginalization. Finally, the reviewed articles showed that
the negative judgments of others, including close personal ties (e.g., family, friends, etc.),
and marginalization triggered strong negative affect amongst entrepreneurs. For example,
findings reported in research by Griffin‐EL and Olabisi (2018) indicated that black African
immigrant entrepreneurs felt marginalized by the South African community.
Marginalization triggered negative affective reactions amongst immigrant entrepreneurs,
such as feelings of frustration. As the authors eloquently explained, this feeling increased
over time: “As immigrant entrepreneurs’ interactions with the host country increase [...]
normalized social stigmas, biases, and ignorance fueled [...] negative exchange between
groups” and evoked feelings of frustration and sadness (i.e., feeling demeaned; Griffin‐EL
& Olabisi, 2018, p. 473). Similarly, research in a conflict zone in Pakistan indicated that
women who ran businesses (often because male family members were killed during the
conflict) feared retaliation for breaking social and religious norms related to a woman’s
public conduct (Muhammad et al., 2017). These women were threatened by customers who
noticed they were breaking norms, yet continued the enterprise as a means to support their
families. As a result, they lived in fear, as one owner explained, “I feel fear that this customer
might be a terrorist and he will kill me” (Muhammad et al., 2017, p. 10). Similarly,
19
entrepreneurs in Tanzania feared the stigma of challenging gender norms when utilizing
microcredit opportunities (Sigalla & Carney, 2012).
Negative emotions were reported also by entrepreneurs from other stigmatized
communities. For example, homosexual business owners who experienced emotional stress
due to hiding their sexual orientation (Kidney & Manning, 2012) or minority owners who
were fearful of subsequent xenophobic attacks (Tengeh, 2016). At the other end of the
spectrum, individuals who allowed fear of social judgment to limit their entrepreneurial
choices may regret it. Research on life regrets highlighted that entrepreneurs express regret
for missing entrepreneurial opportunities because of previous fear of ridicule (as well as not
starting a business sooner, their choice of cofounders, and failure) (Markman et al., 2005).
Thus, marginalization and fear of social rejection was different from loneliness as a trigger
of negative affect because it was not an outcome of occupational choice and role demands,
but of the social context created by others that influenced the entrepreneurial experience.
Venture Circumstances as an Antecedent of Negative Affect
Venture circumstances represent the final category of antecedents of negative affect
that emerged from the review. Entrepreneurship is a goal-driven endeavor strongly related
to entrepreneurs’ identities (Fauchart & Gruber, 2011) and negative feedback on the status
or the potential of the venture was related to negative affective experiences in 21 studies.
While venture circumstances included different venture-related aspects as antecedents of
negative affect, such as market feedback, venture performance, and exiting, they all served
as negative feedback that elicited negative emotions.
Market feedback. The reviewed studies indicated that negative emotions and moods
arose in relation to perceptions of demand and competition in the market. Specifically, eight
studies indicated that such market-related information was associated with feelings of
emotional exhaustion, depression, and fear in experimental research (Kollmann et al., 2017)
20
and in surveys (Oren, 2012; Wei et al., 2015). The reviewed articles demonstrated that
market changes, such as economic recessions and market reforms, produced similar negative
affective experiences, such as feelings of depression, presumably from increased
competition and the difficulty of doing business (Cohidon et al., 2009; Obschonka &
Silbereisen, 2015; Wallis & Dollard, 2008; Yu, 2008). Findings by Kollmann et al (2017)
illustrated that market feedback could sometimes trigger negative emotions based on
expectations of what was to come (anticipatory emotions, such as fear), as opposed to what
was (e.g., firm failure and associated sadness).
Poor financial performance. Related to market feedback, poor financial performance
also triggered negative affect amongst entrepreneurs. In qualitative research, Lechat and
Torrès (2017) identified 30 negative events common to entrepreneurs managing small
businesses. The most intense negative experiences were provoked by markers of poor
financial performance, such as bankruptcy, problems of treasury, drop in commercial
activity, and poor annual results. To date, scholars have established a link between financial
strain or poor performance and both high-activation negative affect, such as fear and
emotional stress (Kollmann et al., 2017; Lechat & Torrès, 2017), and low-activation negative
affect, such as feelings of depression and emotional exhaustion (Fernet et al., 2016;
Gorgievski et al., 2010; Soenen et al., 2019). For example, Pollack et al. (2012) demonstrated
that entrepreneurs under economic stress were more likely to report feeling discouraged,
helpless, and inadequate.
Exiting. The process of ending an entrepreneurial project is highly consequential for
entrepreneurs’ emotions and moods due to social, financial, and identity implications. Not
surprisingly, therefore, the reviewed findings releaved that a loss of belief in the business
idea was associated with feelings of fear and negative affect (Li, 2011; Murnieks et al.,
2019), while the process of voluntary exit was associated with feelings of grief (Byrnes &
21
Taylor, 2015). Yet, negative feelings during the process of exiting were not shared by all
entrepreneurs equally. While serial entrepreneurs found the psychological disengagement
from their venture emotionally challenging and shared experiences of sadness and loss (until
the time they started searching for new opportunities), portfolio entrepreneurs did not
experience similiar negative emotions around their exit from a venture (Rouse, 2016). This
highlights that the decoupling of identity is associated with negative emotional experiences,
not necessarily entrepreneurial exit per se. This is not surprising because entrepreneurs can
experience multiple forms of exit routes with different drivers behind these decisions
(Wennberg, Wiklund, DeTienne, & Cardon, 2010). This indicates that the ease at which an
entrepreneur can decouple from the venture or entrepreneurial project is likely to influence
their level of emotional discomfort and discrete emotions experienced. Indeed, qualitative
research showed that the slow speed of an entrepreneurial project’s failure could intensify
negative affective experiences (Shepherd et al., 2014). In sum, the reviewed findings
indicated that the entrepreneur’s identity and the speed of exit influenced the extent of
emotional discomfort when decoupling from an entrepreneurial idea.
Discussion and Agenda for Future Research
Following Low and MacMillan’s (1988) review approach across key areas of a
research program, this systematic review of the evidence makes four key contributions to
theory and proposes fruitful avenues for future research on affect in entrepreneurship. In the
sections that follow, we discuss these contributions and present an agenda for further
research on (1) negative affective antecedents, (2) nuanced perspectives on negative affect,
(3) the socially-embedded pathways to negative affect, and (4) contextualized
entrepreneurial affect. We highlight areas of convergence across different literatures as well
as areas that have received little academic attention so far. The links between the findings of
the review and future research directions are visually outlined in Figure 1.
22
[Figure 1 and 2 About Here]
Antecedents of Negative Affect in Entrepreneurship
We offer a novel multidimensional framework for understanding why negative affect
arises during entrepreneurial activity with a focus on specific events related to the self, the
entrepreneurial occupation, interactions with others, and venture circumstances (see Table
3). While current research examines why affect matters for entrepreneurial behavior (Uy &
Foo, 2010), our focus on how diverse emotions and moods arise can enable a better
understanding of the links between events, emotions, cognitions, and behaviors with
consequences for entrepreneurs, employees, and ventures. Essentially, our focus moves
upstream and builds upon the established notion that emotions are an important component
in the entrepreneurial process, to provide an initial investigation into the antecedents of
negative emotions beyond just venture failure. Our synthesis of what is currently known
challenges the taken-for-granted assumption that the venture’s performance is the main
source of joy and sorrow for entrepreneurs. Indeed, venture-related characteristics are one
of the many antecedents of negative affect when engaged in entrepreneurship. However,
aspects related to the self, personally significant and venture relevant others, others’
perceptions toward the entrepreneur and toward the communities to which specific
entrepreneurs belong, and the entrepreneurial occupation itself can also elicit negative affect.
The review highlights how affective antecedents vary across situations and for different
types of entrepreneurs, with potentially differing outcomes. For example, the review
demonstrates that anger arises from different events (e.g., physical health events, work-life
conflict, income uncertainty, the behavior of VCs, and customer interactions). Yet, the same
event may elicit different affective responses, such the anger, anxiety, disappointment,
frustration, and guilt that emerge from work-life conflict. Building on our framework of
23
negative affective antecedents and the aspects neglected in research, fruitful avenues for
future research can capture the lived experiences and human nature of diverse entrepreneurs.
How does negative affect vary among heterogeneous entrepreneurs? One of the
significant findings to emerge from this review is the potential for differences in affective
experiences between entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs, such as women and minority
groups, face more negative affective outcomes than others and at different times not merely
because of dispositional differences but due to social factors and the perceptions of others.
For example, the women entrepreneurs in Tanzania (Sigalla & Carney, 2012) or in a conflict
zone (Muhammad et al., 2017) who fear the repercussions for challenging gender norms, or
black African immigrant entrepreneurs who feel marginalized (Griffin‐EL & Olabisi; 2018)
when engaging in entrepreneurial behavior, as discussed earlier (see Negative judgments and
marginalization). In turn, certain groups can experience greater intensity of negative
affective reactions. According to Role Congruity Theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002), prejudice
may arise when individual attributes (i.e., gender, age, race) are incongruent with the
characteristics observers ascribe to a stereotypical image of a successful “entrepreneur” (i.e.,
the assumption that an entrepreneur is a man: Laguía et al., 2019). Therefore individuals
from social groups that do not conform with a certain normative “entrepreneur” stereotype
may be marginalized (i.e., women technology entrepreneurs; Marlow & McAdam, 2012).
Members of these marginalized social groups are likely to face difficult social experiences
in their entrepreneurial journey (Eagly & Karau, 2002), potentially leading to a greater
number and intensity of negative affective experiences.
Yet, strikingly absent from the literature are considerations in how negative affective
experiences may differ between entrepreneurs. This is surprising because not only are
entrepreneurs a heterogeneous group, their ventures can be at different stages of
development or they could be pursuing diverse financial and social goals (Davidsson, 2016).
24
Some entrepreneurs need to have more frequent interactions with external actors who can
influence entrepreneurs’ affective experiences, such as entrepreneurs who need to engage
with state officials to progress their work and experience a range of negative emotions as a
result (Doern & Goss, 2014; see Conflict with external entrepreneurial actors). The
heterogeneity amongst entrepreneurs and their ventures could add to the variance that
individuals experience throughout the entrepreneurial process. Thus, it is likely that
entrepreneurs differ in terms of the affect-eliciting events that they are exposed to (i.e.,
gaining funding) and in their resources for coping with negative affective triggers (Shepherd,
Covin, et al., 2009). For example, novice and experienced entrepreneurs differ in their
responses to stressors. While stressors impact upon sleep for both sets of entrepreneurs, only
novice entrepreneurs experience work-home interference following stressors (Kollmann et
al., 2019). Similarly, entrepreneurs have different personal histories, which influence how
they experience and respond to situations in entrepreneurship (e.g., previous arduous
working conditions can foster greater commitment to a new venture: Laffineur, Dubard
Barbosa, Fayolle, & Montmartin, 2020)
3
. Likewise, men and women evaluate
entrepreneurial stressors differently, such that women pursuing financial goals experience
greater stress than men (Chadwick & Raver, 2019). Thus, research would benefit from
examining not only the difference in the experience of mood and emotion between
entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial samples (as has been the focus in more than 30
excluded articles
4
), but to explore the factors that may explain why entrepreneurs differ in
how and when they experience negative affect.
How does an entrepreneur’s transient state impact their subsequent negative
affective experiences? Only 11% of the reviewed articles examined self-driven affective
3
We thank an anonymous reviewer for this insight.
4
Articles that did not provide insight on the stimulus of negative affective were excluded.
25
experiences (e.g., Williamson et al., 2019), thus neglecting the human nature of
entrepreneurs as individuals who experience episodes of ill health, sleep deprivation,
optimism, and depression. Research exploring episodic individual-level drivers of negative
affect would make a meaningful contribution to the literature by further developing our
understanding of the ever-changing nature of entrepreneurial emotions, and how such
shifting emotional states can have a varying influence on key outcomes within the
entrepreneurial process. It will also more accurately represent the lived experiences of
entrepreneurs, moving beyond the heroic portrayal of entrepreneurs (Torrès & Thurik,
2019). The wider literature offers clues for developing our understanding in this area. For
example, through the lens of entrepreneurial impulsivity (Wiklund et al., 2018), short-lived
mental-illness incidences (Thurik et al., 2016), chronic disease (Vessal et al., 2021), and
poor self-care (Goldsby et al., 2005), we can better understand episodes of self-driven
discrete negative emotions in entrepreneurship, such as shame and regret. Leveraging these
similar episodic perspectives can help to guide future research into how transient shifts in
entrepreneurs’ emotional states can influence a variety of important outcomes.
How do entrepreneurial tasks and tensions in goal pursuit elicit negative affect?
While job design and role demands as overarching constructs emerged as antecedents of
negative affect (e.g., Kallioniemi et al., 2016; Shepherd et al., 2010), surprisingly few studies
empirically examined the negative affective implications of undertaking specific
entrepreneurial tasks and milestones. For example, we know that affect is an important tool
in entrepreneurs’ negotiation behavior (Artinger et al., 2015), and that entrepreneurs often
have to give away power (autonomy) to others as a short-term sacrifice (van Gelderen,
2016). Yet, we do not know how emotions are influenced by negotiation behavior nor by the
outcomes of negotiations. Moreover, we have little insight into how seemingly positive
events, like hiring new employees, can produce positive and negative emotions in tandem
26
(c.f., Wiklund, Davidsson, & Delmar, 2003). Future research is needed to further examine
the link between entrepreneurial distinct activities (e.g., negotiations, pitching events,
pivoting and idea refinement, expansion decisions) and negative affective experiences.
Additionally, particularly interesting research may come from considering the interplay of
individual attributes and task-driven negative emotions. For example, an entrepreneur’s
skills may be mismatched to specific entrepreneurial tasks, at different points in the
entrepreneurial process (e.g., Kickul et al, 2009; Olson, 1985), thus influencing negative
affect
5
.
The nature of entrepreneurs’ work encompasses multiple tensions. Yet, beyond
work-life conflict (e.g., McLellan & Uys, 2009), little insight was provided from the
reviewed articles on how work-related tensions trigger negative affect. A prime example of
such work-related tensions is the pursuit of financial and social goals in social
entrepreneurship (Shepherd, 2015). However, the literature so far has focused on how poor
financial performance elicits negative affect, without considering social or environmental
performance or conflict between areas of performance (e.g., Drencheva & Au, in-press).
Such potential tensions between multiple goals are experienced by commercial
entrepreneurs as well because they evaluate their success not only based on firm performance
but also on workplace relationships, personal fulfillment, community impact, and personal
financial rewards (Wach et al., 2016). Additionally, entrepreneurs face ethical dilemmas in
their everyday experiences in product design and human resource management that can also
result in tensions between multiple goals and different ways of evaluating performance
(Hannafey, 2003). Thus, future research can be impactful in investigating whether, when,
and how underperformance in different domains (e.g., social vs. financial) can potentially
trigger different negative affect (e.g., disappointment, shame, fear). Furthermore, future
5
We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.
27
research can also examine how failure along certain dimensions (i.e., social outcomes) could
temper the positive consequences of success from alternative perspectives (i.e., financial
outcomes).
A Nuanced View of Negative Affect: Discrete Emotions and Temporarily Variable
Affect
We offer a map of the diverse discrete negative emotions that arise during
entrepreneurship activity (See Table 3). In doing so, we respond to calls to improve our
understanding of negative affect in the context of venture creation (Delgado-García et al.,
2015; Shepherd, 2015) and more accurately reflect the emotional experiences of
entrepreneurs. The extant research often explores “positive” or “negative” valence (Foo et
al., 2015) with broad groupings, such as “emotional stress”. Yet, the evidence shows that
moods and emotions of the same valence do not drive entrepreneurial behavior in the same
way (Williamson et al., 2019). Specifically, research has indicated that emotions that elicit
low and high activation influence cognitive processes, decision making, and behavior in
divergent ways (Coker, 2020; Sohn et al., 2015). High-activation emotions tend to prompt
cognitive resource and energy expenditure, whereas low-activation emotions are associated
with inaction (Warr et al., 2014) and disengagement (even exiting a venture; c.f., Hessels et
al., 2018). This is why we map out the examined literature into high-activation discrete
emotions (i.e., anger, anxiety, fear, and frustration) and low-activation discrete emotions
(i.e., disappointment, grief, regret, sadness, and shame) alongside their known antecedents.
This mapping of examined discrete negative emotions also highlights which discrete
negative emotions have been neglected so far - regret, disappointment, resentment, envy,
disgust, and contempt. Our focus on discrete emotions and differentiation between low- and
high-activation affect offers a pathway toward conceptual clarity and a foundation for future
research on how, when, and why negative affect matters for entrepreneurs (as individuals)
28
and their ventures. Such a focus on discrete emotions and differentiating between low- and
high-activation affect has already proved fruitful in research on creativity (e.g., Baas et al.,
2008; Baas et al., 2011). Thus, future research requires greater nuance, including:
Which discrete emotions arise from entrepreneurially relevant events? The
reviewed articles favored affective groupings, such as “negative affect” (e.g., Breugst &
Shepherd, 2017), as opposed to discrete emotions. While these studies have been greatly
valuable, a paucity of insight has been generated on discrete emotions, with the exceptions
of grief (i.e., loss resulting from failure) and fear (i.e., nervousness of potential failure).
The use of affective groupings limits our ability to accurately predict entrepreneurial
decisions and behaviors with emotion as an independent variable. This endeavor is aided
by specificity (Foo et al., 2015; Lebel, 2017) because not all negative emotions have equal
consequences for cognition and behavior (Angie et al., 2011). For example, the link
between experienced emotion and (un)ethical entrepreneurial behavior is likely to be
nuanced, depending on what discrete negative emotion is experienced. Individuals are
likely to behave unethically when feeling angry (Kligyte et al., 2013) or anxious (Kouchaki
& Desai, 2015), but to behave ethically when feeling fearful (Kligyte et al., 2013) or
guilty (Motro et al., 2018). This is relevant because minor everyday-life business deviance,
that is the little actions individuals take to maximize profit, such as a “request for cash
payment to avoid paying taxes” in the informal sector, can add up and produce differential
effects at large (Ji et al., 2019, p. 1179). Scholars could thus address pending questions
about unethical behavior (e.g., Baron et al., 2015) and beyond by considering the temporal
influence of discrete emotions. To develop a thorough understanding of the interplay
between affect and the entrepreneurial process, future research needs a nuanced
perspective that explores how discrete emotions arise from specific events and the impact
of such discrete emotions. Exploring the experience of discrete emotions, such as regret,
29
disappointment, resentment, and envy, which are currently neglected in entrepreneurship
research, would therefore make a valuable contribution to the literature.
What anticipatory affect do entrepreneurs experience and when? According to
emotion-as-feedback theory (Baumeister et al., 2007), behavior is largely driven by
anticipatory affect, which occurs from the expectation of certain outcomes. For example,
failure research has demonstrated that entrepreneurs experience anticipatory grief leading up
to the failure event (Shepherd, Wiklund, & Haynie, 2009). Similarly, entrepreneurs may
experience other anticipatory negative emotions such as shame, regret, or anger at different
moments in time and under different circumstances (i.e., anticipatory guilt from financial
debt with close ties). Anticipatory negative affect may also occur together with positive
affect (relief). The entrepreneurial environment is an interesting context for exploring
anticipatory affect, due to its high uncertainty. Yet, with a few exceptions (e.g., Hatak &
Snellman, 2017), anticipatory affect is largely missing from empirical studies in the
entrepreneurship literature.
Future research is required to investigate discrete anticipatory moods and emotions,
their antecedents, and outcomes. Such research can be valuable in addressing seemingly less
rational entrepreneurial behavior. For example, future research could examine anticipatory
emotions from perceived discrimination in business loan processes to provide nuanced
insights on disparities between entrepreneurial participation and funding rates. Research on
racial minority groups suggests that African Americans and Hispanic Americans are
significantly more reluctant to apply for financial capital than White Americans (Neville et
al., 2018). Yet, a large-scale econometric study in the USA indicates that there is no evidence
of ethnic discrimination in credit markets and suggests that misconceptions of discrimination
are to blame for funding uptake (Fraser, 2009). This highlights an intriguing situation
whereby perceptions of the judgments of others influence entrepreneurs’ anticipated
30
emotions and thereby behavior. Future research may explore how and with what effect
anticipated emotions (e.g., shame) arise, and how the perception of discrimination and bias
influence these anticipatory emotions.
What innovative methods can be used to accurately measure entrepreneurs’ moods
and emotions? Due to exogenous factors and the rapidly changing nature of affect whereby
emotions and moods are outcomes of specific events (i.e., dependent variable) and almost
immediately can influence cognition and behavior (i.e., becoming an independent variable),
new research methods are required to further examine these topics. The reviewed articles
highlight general differences between self-report and physiological measures of
entrepreneurs’ affect (Patel et al., 2019; Patzelt & Shepherd, 2011). This indicates that
entrepreneurs are not particularly good at reporting their negative affect. These findings can
be explained by a lack of emotional awareness (Dasborough et al., 2008), contextual factors
(i.e., desensitization to negative affect, engagement in deep or surface acting, cognitive
dissonance reduction), a hesitancy to share negative affect due to issues related to reputation,
social perceptions, and legitimacy. Indeed, all these potential explanations deserve to be
tested as they can offer novel insights into how emotions and moods are experienced and
expressed. These explanations also highlight the need for new methods, beyond self-reports.
Some ideas for doing this have started to emerge in the literature, including physiological
measurement (Hubbard et al., 2002), artificial intelligence (Williamson, Battisti, & Pollack,
2022), and affective computing (Harley, 2016). For example, Williamson et al., (in press)
measured disappointment from entrepreneurs’ social media posts with machine learning.
Socially Embedded Affect in Entrepreneurship
We demonstrate that the socially embedded context of entrepreneurs underpins many
affective experiences, in line with an interactive and socially embedded perspective of
entrepreneurship (Shepherd, 2015). Indeed, antecedents related to others are most commonly
31
examined in the reviewed evidence (see Table 1). This includes close ties and teams directly
engaged with entrepreneurs (e.g., Breugst & Shepherd, 2017; Chadwick & Raver, 2019;
Kollmann et al., 2017) as well as social judgments and prejudices that influence interactions
between entrepreneurs and customers or intermediaries (e.g., Griffin‐EL & Olabisi, 2018;
Muhammad et al., 2017). The multiple pathways by which social interactions impact the
negative emotions and moods of entrepreneurs can be both direct and indirect. For example,
others can trigger negative emotions directly through conflict and by issuing judgment, or
indirectly as a social resource that buffers against negative emotions. Entrepreneurship
scholars can make valuable contributions to the literature by exploring this theme further,
along five main aspects:
How do entrepreneurs make sense of events eliciting negative affect? Events eliciting
negative affect can represent jolts to routines and expectations (Meyer, 1982) and trigger
sensemaking (Weick, 1995) as a socially-embedded process of answering the questions
“what’s going on here?” and “what do I do next?” (Weick et al., 2005, p.412). It creates
meaning through cycles of interpreting cues that highlight discrepancies and acting on the
interpretation of these cues to check one’s new understanding of the situation (Maitlis &
Christianson, 2014; Weick, 1988; 1995). Despite the overall understanding of sensemaking
processes in management (Maitlis & Christianson, 2014), we lack an understanding of how
specifically entrepreneurs interpret and act on events eliciting negative emotions. Yet,
examining specific sensemaking patterns can be valuable in understanding how different
entrepreneurs cope with and recover from such events and with what outcomes for
themselves as individuals and their ventures. For example, emerging research shows that
different patterns of sensemaking shape how entrepreneurs seek feedback (Drencheva et al.,
2021) or re-enter entrepreneurship after failure (Williams et al., 2020). Future research can
also investigate how sensemaking through narratives enables entrepreneurs to deal with
32
events eliciting negative affect. Such research can capture not only how narratives serve as
enablers for recovery, resilience and growth (e.g., Lawrence & Maitlis, 2012; Maitlis, 2009)
but also as ways to challenge and transform discourses that shape the entrepreneur
occupation in ways that exclude certain individuals who do not fit the stereotype of who is
an entrepreneur.
How do close social ties drive negative affect in entrepreneurship? While others-
driven antecedents of negative affect were most commonly examined in the reviewed
evidence, this was usually done through the lens of relational conflict (e.g., Breugst &
Shepherd, 2017) or social resources attenuating negative affect (e.g., Ariza-Montes et al.,
2017). However, multi-directional and interactive perspectives can provide richer insights
into the interpersonal exchanges that give rise to negative emotions and moods in
entrepreneurship. For instance, spousal control of finances is associated with lower well-
being amongst entrepreneurs (Dutt et al., 2016) which highlights the potential for social ties
to intrude on the entrepreneurial experience through role conflict, instead of relational
conflict, and thus drive a complex mix of negative emotions and moods. Furthermore,
feelings of malicious envy directed towards other entrepreneurs can shift toward benign envy
when these other entrepreneurs share their own failings (Brooks et al., 2019). This indicates
that entrepreneurs are social agents who experience and trigger emotional responses in
others, and highlights the need for additional research related to these topics.
Future research on multi-directional interpersonal interactions is uniquely positioned
to provide insight into discrete emotions, such as resentment and disappointment, whereby
others’ affect and behavior toward entrepreneurs can influence entrepreneurs’ affect and
behavior. The benefits of a multi-directional interpersonal perspective on negative discrete
emotions can be seen in relation to trust. The importance of trust (Howorth & Moro, 2006)
and its implications for the firm has received considerable interest (Maxwell & Lévesque,
33
2014; Zahra et al., 2006), yet the emotional consequences of trust violations, betrayals, and
over-trusting (Goel & Karri, 2006) are yet to be explored in entrepreneurship. Trust
violations and betrayals can trigger negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety and frustration
(see Appendix A), thus influencing how entrepreneurs engage with others and potentially
inhibiting help-seeking behaviors beneficial for the venture (e.g., Gaumer & Shaffer, 2018).
How does modern “connectedness” to stakeholders influence negative affective
experiences? As a result of modern advances in communication technologies, there are
numerous opportunities to examine how interactions unfold and interactively relate to
negative affective experiences for entrepreneurs. A valuable contribution could thus be
gained by examining the link between online connectedness and the negative affective
experiences of entrepreneurs. For example, two of the reviewed articles demonstrate that
customers’ negative online opinions can trigger negative affective experiences in the venture
team (Bradley et al., 2016; Weber et al., 2017). This theme could be extended to examine
how negative affect differs according to the medium, the content of communication, or the
source (i.e., relational signals: De Clercq & Rangarajan, 2008). Medium of communication
can differ in terms of publicness and potential for multi-way dialogue: from a public review
on Trip Advisor to a public dialogue on Twitter, or a two-way private communication via
WhatsApp, all with potentially different stakeholders: customers, peers, suppliers. Thus,
future research can also examine how negative affect arises from digital communication with
diverse groups (e.g., customers, peers, investors, intermediaries) because our review shows
how different negative affect (e.g., shame, anger, fear) arises from interactions with different
actors. This line of research can be further extended to examine how digital communication
can potentially enhance work-life conflict due to its constant connectedness and spill-over
across work and personal domains. At the same time, future research should also explore the
34
potential of digital communication to buffer against or minimize negative affect for
entrepreneurs who feel isolated or marginalized by providing a sense of community.
When do social judgments impact upon entrepreneurs’ emotional experiences?
Research that further unpacks the connection between social judgments and negative
emotional experience in entrepreneurship could be highly valuable to the field. The reviewed
articles demonstrate, unsurprisingly, that feeling marginalized relates to negative affective
experiences(e.g., Griffin‐EL & Olabisi, 2018; Muhammad et al., 2017). This interesting
topic is, however, in its infancy and requires further attention, particularly concerning two
key themes. First, what implications do types of social judgments have on different
entrepreneurs’ affective experiences? For example, how are social judgments affectively
experienced by entrepreneurs in relation to mental or physical disabilities, “sexism,
heterosexism, racism, anti-immigrant biases, ageism, and classism” (Fiske, 2012, p. 32) and
their intersections (Dy et al., 2017), and how do these experiences differ across social units
(differences in the groups doing the judging). For example, entrepreneurs who are
homosexual receive harsher judgment than others (Shepherd & Patzelt, 2015). This line of
research also relates to the previous point on digital communication and how social
judgments expressed on social media are affectively experienced by entrepreneurs. Second,
how do social judgments at the level of the venture influence entrepreneurs’ affective
experiences? For example, some new venture ideas may be viewed with low esteem in
society, such as ventures serving stigmatized markets (i.e., pornographic industry) and
undertaking “dirty work” (i.e., rubbish collection), yet the affective experiences of the
entrepreneurs behind such ventures in relation to stigma and social judgment are unexplored.
What drives prosocial negative affect? Knowledge on the antecedents of prosocial
affect is limited (Wiklund et al., 2018) and examination of how prosocial emotions beyond
empathy, such as guilt and pity, are aroused is required. Future research on how these
35
emotions are triggered and transformed into action (or not) is poised to make a valuable
contribution. For example, it is established that negative emotional displays can be used to
entice action in stakeholders (Barberá-Tomás et al., 2019) and employees (Brundin et al.,
2008) and that entrepreneurs’ negative emotions can drive action to address societal
problems (e.g., sustainable entrepreneurial intentions; Eller et al., 2020). Yet, we know very
little about how the emotional displays of others influence the negative prosocial emotions
of entrepreneurs. This line of work would be valuable for research on prosocial organizing
where prosocial affect is a driver for engaging and remaining in entrepreneurship (Branzei
et al., 2018), but also for the broader entrepreneurship domain as entrepreneurs may be
exposed to the suffering of employees or other prominent stakeholders. There is, of course,
the potential for interaction between negative emotions and prosocial and other-oriented
motivations that would benefit from further scholarly inquiry (Bolino & Grant, 2016).
Contextualizing Entrepreneurial Affect
Overall, by highlighting the challenging events that entrepreneurs encounter which
drive negative affective experiences in context, we hope to draw attention to settings where
entrepreneurs may most benefit from scholarly insights. By context, we mean the
informational (e.g., market feedback), physical (e.g., conflict zone) or social attributes (e.g.,
gender norms) of entrepreneurs’ situations (Johns, 2001), which can vary across levels of
analysis from the family to formal and informal institutions (Welter, 2011). As we show in
this review, context across levels of analysis elicits different affective experiences for
entrepreneurs, thus a contextual lens of entrepreneurs’ affect can contribute to theoretical
novelty that is reflective of the experiences of diverse entrepreneurs (Welter et al., 2017).
However, the lack of attention to context can also limit our understanding of the
heterogeneous experiences of entrepreneurs and the outcomes of affect. Context can restrict
affective variation amongst entrepreneurs (e.g., central tendency, floor and ceiling effects,
36
extreme base rates) or within entrepreneurs (e.g., stability over time when variability is
hoped for) (Johns, 2001). For example, in the challenging contexts identified in this review
(e.g., women in a conflict zone threatened for breaking local norms), the experience of
negative affect (e.g., fear for their lives) is likely to differ in severity to what is generally
captured in studies of affect-driven cognition and behavior in everyday entrepreneurial life
in other contexts (Watson, 2000). Coincidently, what may be considered extreme in one
context may be an average level of negative affect for individuals entrenched in particularly
difficult circumstances. In chronically challenging situations the “normal” level of negative
affect may be high, yet self-reported measures of affective intensity may not necessarily
capture this extremity (because it is subjective and based on the relative individual
experience). Additionally, context can limit our understanding of how the duration,
frequency, co-occurrence (e.g., grief and shame in tandem), and sequential nature of
entrepreneurs’ negative emotional experiences influence entrepreneurial outcomes, such as
subsequent creativity or mental health. For example, regarding the sequence of affect,
negative affect followed by positive affect positively impacts creativity and work
engagement (Bledow et al., 2011, 2013), while the frequent experience of negative affect
can undermine well-being (Wiklund et al., 2019).
The features of affective experiences are likely to differ between a sample of
entrepreneurs common in journals published in the Global North and a sample of
entrepreneurs from intensely challenging settings, such as in the Pakistan warzone
previously mentioned. On account of these differences, it follows that affect-driven
outcomes may differ between contexts as well limiting the generalizability of findings to
under-researched contexts and our ability to assist entrepreneurs in emotionally extreme
situations. Yet, entrepreneurs with chronic and intense negative affective experiences may
not be adequately represented in analyses of affect-driven entrepreneurship research, despite
37
the potential of such negative affective experiences to produce new and contrary findings to
what has been identified thus far. We hope this review stimulates much-needed research on
negative emotions in crisis contexts. To help guide future research in this important
direction, we provide an overview of the event pathways that may enhance negative affect
in crisis, using the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic (Appendix B).
This review brings our attention to contextual diversity that should underpin theory-
building efforts in entrepreneurial affect with appropriate methodological approaches.
Instead of letting affective heterogeneity stifle academic efforts, however, scholars could use
these differences to contextualize the entrepreneurial experience and to explore how
entrepreneurs thrive and remain resilient in the most challenging situations, whereby our
review can serve as a roadmap. This includes more diverse samples of entrepreneurs beyond
Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic countries (WEIRD) (with some
exceptions, e.g., Foo et al., 2009) who face considerable challenges when doing business
(Eifert et al., 2008; Hallward-Driemeier & Pritchett, 2015). Research with these samples
should acknowledge that even in WEIRD contexts, some entrepreneurs may experience
chronic and intense negative affect due to marginalization and violence based on their
identity (e.g., sexuality, ethnicity, refugee status) and economic and social inequalities linked
to a historical background of migration, war, slavery, and exploitation of different social
groups. Context-specific affect-driven research holds great promise for moving the field
forward and for conducting research with impact.
Conclusion
While entrepreneurship “presents unique obstacles and challenges” (Reid et al.,
2018), insights on the drivers of entrepreneurs’ negative affect are fragmented. In this
systematic review of 52 empirical articles, we synthesized these insights into a
multidimensional framework of the antecedents of entrepreneurs’ negative affect. This
38
contributes an enhanced knowledge of the antecedents of affect, the diverse discrete negative
emotions that entrepreneurs experience, and the socially-embedded and contextual nature of
affect in entrepreneurship. Building on this framework, we offer a roadmap for future
research and methodological approaches on discrete emotions that vary across entrepreneurs
in a connected world where social judgments and conflict reach far and wide.
39
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55
Table and Figures
Table 1: Negative entrepreneurial affect per topic and methods employed
Topic theme
Method
Occupation
Venture
Self
Mixed
Qual
Quant
Total
High activation
5
4
4
4
25
9
39
Low activation
12
13
5
1
7
32
39
Negative affect broadly
3
2
1
2
7
9
Total
20
19
10
5
34
48
87
Total % by topics &
methods
23.0%
21.8%
11.5%
5.7%
39.1%
55.2%
Table 2: Negative entrepreneurial affect constructs
Construct
Percent
Depressive Feelings
19
Emotional Exhaustion
15
Negative Affect
11
Emotional stress
10
Anger
9
Fear
9
Frustration
9
Anxiety
5
Disappointment
3
Sadness
2
Shame
2
Grief
1
Guilt
1
Regret
1
Tension and anxiety
1
56
Table 3: Discrete negative emotions and their affective antecedents in entrepreneurship
Anger
Anxiety
Fear
Frustration
High-activation
Betrayal by
associate/competitor
Conflict with VCs
Customer interactions
Negative customer
feedback
Physical health event
Uncertain income
Unethical behavior of
venture capitalists
Betrayal by
associate/competitor
Customer interactions
Physical health event
Uncertain income
A lack or loss of
social support
Financial strains
and performance
Interactions with
state official
Opportunity
belief
Perceived demand
Perceptions of
discrimination
Potential loss of
business partner
Terrorism
Betrayal by
associate/competitor
Conflict with VCs
Customer
interactions
Interactions with
state official
Perceptions of
discrimination
Physical health
event
Uncertain income
Unethical behavior
of venture
capitalists
Disappointment
Grief
Sadness and
regret
Shame and guilt
Low-activation
Lack of time for
leisure
Market/environmental
change (i.e.,
globalization)
Optimistic outlook to
event
Exit transition
Perceptions of
discrimination
Exit transition
Family support
requirements
Interactions with state
official
Optimistic outlook to
event
57
Figure 1: Visual framework synthesizing the review
Figure 2: Quantity of articles by year
Note: Visual representation of the articles by year of publication included in this review of
the antecedents of negative affect in entrepreneurship.
58
APPENDIX B
Overview of literature by topic and subthemes
Affective antecedent
Emotional outcome
Method
Affective activation
Qual
Quant
Mixed
Low
High
Both
Total
State of self-driven antecedent
4
6
5
4
1
10
Poor sleep quality
Tension and anxiety
1
1
1
Coping approach employed
Negative affect
1
1
1
Low mindfulness behavior
Emotional exhaustion
1
1
1
Optimistic outlook to event
Disappointment, shame
1
1
2
2
Physical health event
Anger, anxiety, frustration
3
3
3
Ruminating
Emotional exhaustion
1
1
1
Perceived poor current fit to job
Emotional exhaustion
1
1
1
Occupation-driven antecedent
6
14
12
5
3
20
Job design
1
12
10
1
2
13
Loneliness
Depressive feelings, emotional stress
1
3
2
1
1
4
Uncertainty and ambiguity
Emotional exhaustion, negative affect
1
1
1
Job demands
Depressive feelings, emotional
exhaustion, negative affect
8
7
1
8
Work-life conflict
5
2
2
4
1
7
Family support requirements
Guilt
1
1
1
Lack of time for leisure
Disappointment, negative affect
1
1
1
Personal/family income
Emotional stress
1
1
1
1
2
Uncertain income
Anger, anxiety, frustration, negative
affect
3
3
3
Other-driven antecedent
21
13
4
9
26
3
38
Close ties
5
3
2
5
Affective experiences of close others
(contagion)
Emotional stress
1
1
1
High partner control
Depressive feelings
1
1
1
A lack or loss of social support
Depressive feelings, fear
3
2
1
3
Team
1
6
3
2
5
3
10
Conflict with business partners
Emotional stress
1
2
1
1
3
4
Conflict with employees
Depressive feelings, emotional stress
1
2
1
2
3
59
Affective antecedent
Emotional outcome
Method
Affective activation
Qual
Quant
Mixed
Low
High
Both
Total
Employee management responsibility
Emotional exhaustion, emotional
stress
2
1
1
2
Potential loss of business partner
Fear
1
1
1
Institutional agents and intermediaries
14
2
1
10
16
Conflict with VCs
Anger, frustration
2
2
2
Behavior by VCs
Anger, frustration
2
2
2
Customer interactions
Anger, anxiety, frustration
3
3
3
Interactions with state officials
Fear, frustration, shame
3
1
2
3
Negative customer feedback
Anger
1
1
2
2
Suppliers
Depressive feelings, negative affect
1
1
1
Betrayal by associate/competitor
Anger, anxiety, frustration, negative
affect
3
3
3
Judgement and marginalization
6
1
2
5
7
Perceptions of discrimination
Fear, frustration, sadness
4
1
3
4
Sexual orientation judgements
Emotional stress
1
1
1
Cultural and religious conflict
Fear
1
1
1
Fear of ridicule
Regret
1
1
1
Venture circumstances-driven
antecedent
3
15
1
13
4
2
19
Market dynamics
8
7
1
8
Competition
Emotional exhaustion, negative affect
2
2
2
Market/environmental change (i.e.,
globalization)
Depressive feelings, disappointment,
negative affect
5
5
5
Perceived demand
Fear, negative affect
1
1
1
Performance markers
3
7
1
6
3
2
11
Opportunity belief
Fear
2
1
1
2
Slow failure
Negative affect
1
1
1
Financial strains and performance
Depressive feelings, emotional
exhaustion, fear, emotional stress,
negative affect
5
1
4
2
6
Exit transition
Grief, sadness, negative affect
2
2
2
Grand Total
34
48
5
39
39
9
87
60
APPENDIX
Pathways for entrepreneurs enhanced negative emotions in times of crisis
Relevant chronic affect-eliciting events
Crisis-related affect-eliciting event aggravation
(The COVID-19 pandemic is provided as the example)
Venture circumstances-
driven antecedent
Issues accessing equipment, tools or supplies (Kollmann,
Stöckmann, & Kensbock, 2019).
Enhanced issues accessing equipment, tools, and supplies (e.g., access to facemasks,
equipment for remote work, and supply of raw materials).
Difficulty attaining funding and financial resources.
Enhanced difficulty in attaining financial resources through normal channels, due to changes
in the available funding sources (Gauthier & Morelix, 2020), and pool of resources (Kaji,
Chalhoub, & Menard, 2020).
Ineligibility for government support (Kuckertz et al., 2020).
Market demand uncertainty.
Loss of contact with customers, closure of physical stores, a decrease of sales, and spoiling of
stock (e.g., a restaurant in a tourist location).
Recruitment issues.
Enhanced recruitment issues due to migration barriers (e.g., licensed medical staff, seasonal
migrant workers for agricultural work), or lack of cash flow (e.g., hiring freeze).
Uncertain nature of the external environment, such as
potential technological, regulatory, demographic, socio-
cultural, macroeconomic, political, and natural-
environmental changes that can impact entrepreneurial
activity (Davidsson, Recker, & von Briel, 2020).
Enhanced uncertainty and turbulence in external enablement. This is particularly heightened
during a crisis because of economic downturn, plus socio-cultural (consumer needs, the
supply of goods and services, the supply of capital; Inoue & Todo, 2020), and dynamic
regulatory shifts (business compliance requirements, safety protocols, governmental support,
and complexities of navigating new support initiatives).
Strategic pivots (e.g., revising activities, resources, and
attention to align with changing business environment;
Kirtley & O’Mahony, in-press).
Crises may precipitate the rapid restructuring of business models (Bacq, Geoghegan, Josefy,
Stevenson, & Williams, 2020).
Failure (e.g., discontinued ownership due to bankruptcy,
insolvency, or undesirable performance; Ucbasaran et al.,
2013).
Young ventures teeter precariously between viability and failure (Wiklund, Baker, &
Shepherd, 2010). Crises can tip the scales unfavorably for these ventures.
61
Relevant chronic affect-eliciting events
Crisis-related affect-eliciting event aggravation
(The COVID-19 pandemic is provided as the example)
Climatic impacts (e.g., diminishing resources to farm;
Galappaththi, Galappaththi, & Kodithuwakku, 2017).
Challenges related to reallocating resources and changing the business model, like the value
proposition (e.g., breweries moving into hand sanitizer), and business channels (e.g.,
establishing an online marketplace).
Compliance demands (e.g., tax) and policy changes
(Kallioniemi, Simola, Kaseva, & Kymäläinen, 2016).
Challenges complying with rapidly changing policy requirements (Chittenden, Kauser, &
Poutziouris, 2005).
Other-driven antecedent
Direct interactions with stakeholders (e.g., employees,
customers, suppliers; Lechat & Torrès, 2017)
Treatment from others (Kallioniemi et al., 2016).
Further strained interactions with stakeholders (e.g., slow delivery of goods, late payments to
suppliers) diminishing trust with stakeholders, impairing key business relationships (Taylor,
Agho, Stevens, & Raphael, 2008).
Prejudice is received by some groups of entrepreneurs who are viewed to be associated with
the contagion (e.g., Chinese individuals at the beginning of the pandemic; Tabri, Hollings, &
Wohl, 2020).
Responsibility for others (Wei, Cang, & Hisrich, 2015).
Increased strain concerning the responsibility for others. This may be particularly pronounced
in relation to staff (e.g., the need to furlough or fire employees; Bartik et al., 2020).
Tensions experienced between team and stakeholders (e.g.,
suppliers, intermediaries, community, beneficiaries).
Interruption of normal activities, such as ongoing negotiations with stakeholders and growth
plans (Kuckertz et al., 2020).
Team conflict issues.
Challenges associated with collaborating (Allan & Lawless, 2005) and operating in different
ways (e.g., performance issues associated with bereavement or childcare duties of team
members).
Occupation-driven
antecedent
The gap between the perceived demands of entrepreneurial
activity (e.g., workload, work pace, ambiguity, uncertainty,
and hassles) and an entrepreneur’s current knowledge, skills,
and abilities for responding to them.
This may be particularly salient when adapting to novel
experiences in entrepreneurship (e.g., giving a pitch, or
adjusting to a different culture; Tschirhart, Straiton,
Ottersen, & Winkler, 2019).
Shifts in the environment generate new demands requiring different knowledge, skills, and
abilities (e.g., leading team members from a distance, applying for emergency government
assistance, following new protocols, and acquiring new equipment for different ways of
working).
Some demands may be intensified (e.g., ambiguity, information overload), particularly
because of normlessness (few guidelines on how to transition to a new way of life) and non-
volitional (events that are not wanted, but happen) nature of crises.
62
Relevant chronic affect-eliciting events
Crisis-related affect-eliciting event aggravation
(The COVID-19 pandemic is provided as the example)
Inter-role conflict (both within-domain conflicts and cross-
domain conflicts; Poggesi, Mari, & De Vita, 2019)
Intensified work-family conflict (Cesaroni, Pediconi, & Sentuti, 2018), e.g., when working
from home with young children.
Social-tie-related concern and anxiety, e.g., loss of income, safety.
Chronic loneliness (Fernet, Torrès, Austin, & St-Pierre,
2016).
Isolation from others during the crisis, issues accessing an established network, and the
erosion of social bonds during home confinement (Okruszek, Aniszewska-Stańczuk, Piejka,
Wiśniewska, & Żurek, 2020).
State of self-driven
antecedent
Physical over-exertion.
Discomforts from changes in the physical workspace. For example, crowding, noise, and
comfort.
Threats to the individual’s identity and future (e.g., fear of
failure, identity threat, “selling-oneself”; Grant & Ferris,
2012).
Enhanced fear and anxiety over the immediate future (e.g., infection safety concerns for self
and customers) financial strain, and an uncertain future, which is further intensified by
exogenous entrepreneurial uncertainty (Bhattacharjee & Jahanshah, 2020).
Illness-related events.
Crisis-related illness.
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Scholars have long debated how rigor can be achieved in qualitative analysis. To answer this question, we need to better understand how theory is generated from data. Qualitative analysis is, at its core, a categorization process. Nevertheless, despite a surge of interest in categorization within the social sciences, insights from categorization theory have not yet been applied to our understanding of qualitative analysis. Drawing from categorization theory, we argue that the movement from data to theory is an active process in which researchers choose between multiple moves that help them to make sense of their data. In addition, we develop a framework of the main moves that people use when they categorize data and demonstrate that evidence of these moves can also be found in past qualitative scholarship. Our framework emphasizes that if we are not sufficiently reflexive and explicit about the active analytical processes that generate theoretical insights, we cannot be transparent and, thus, rigorous about how we analyze data. We discuss the implications of our framework for increasing rigor in qualitative analysis, for actively constructing categories from data, and for spurring more methodological plurality within qualitative theory building.
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Do it yourself (DIY) laboratories are the new experimental open source spaces where nascent entrepreneurs (or DIYers) get together to develop entrepreneurial ideas. Although these labs were originally established by scientists and biologists, they now include civil society, creating a mix and match between experts and non-experts. This group also includes another category of nascent entrepreneurs known as disadvantaged DIYers (DDIYers) who are making the most of these spaces. DDIYers encompass a different range of people such as immigrants, women, and the disabled. The latter calls for a new wave of research focused on DDIYers who are affected by chronic disease; these people motivated the present study that examined a sample of 27 DDIYers who created their own business after being diagnosed with cancer. The following will investigate their motivations. It will be seen that DDIYers are driven by external motivations oriented towards the desire to fulfill unmet needs; existential motivations oriented towards finding meaning in and control over one's life; as well as the aim of having an ideal profession and sharing a common project. With this in mind, policymakers and research institutions are encouraged to facilitate the establishment of DIY labs and the sharing of resources and knowledge.