Social Identity and Entrepreneurship

“One of the most remarkable characteristics of entrepreneurship is that it provides individuals with the freedom to pursue their own goals, dreams, and desires in new firm creation. All entrepreneurial activities are infused with meaning because they are an expression of an individual's identity or concept of self.” (Fauchert & Gruber, 2011).

Individuals vary in their preferences for different roles within their entrepreneurial activities (Fauchert & Gruber, 2011). Entrepreneurial activities such as forming a company are inherently social activities and enterprises are social constructs themselves (Whetten & Mackey, 2002). Therefore, it is useful to look at entrepreneurship and founder identity through the lens of social identity theory (Tajfel, 1972; Tajfel & Turner, 1979).

The aim of the research project is to achieve a deeper understanding of the processes of entrepreneurial social identity development and different types of founder identity. Additionally, we are trying to link the different types of founder’s social identity to different predictors and entrepreneurial sustainability-related outcome variables. Therefore, we use longitudinal data to be able to analyse the process of identity development and the influence of social identity on the outcome variables.