Table of Contents

Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström and Franz T. Lohrke

This book historicizes entrepreneurship research, its primary thesis being ‘history matters’. Expert contributors discuss the field’s long history and explore whether it has developed a mature and comprehensive knowledge base. The intellectual roots of several important theories are then examined in depth because, as entrepreneurship research has become more theory driven, and scholars have borrowed theories from many different fields, it becomes increasingly important to understand their origin. Finally, the book demonstrates how economic history research (for example, the historical and institutional context of entrepreneurial behaviour) can contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurship.

Chapter 13: The Psychology of Entrepreneurs: A Self-regulation Perspective

Alan R. Johnson and Frédéric Delmar

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Alan R. Johnson and Frédéric Delmar INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we suggest theoretical and integrative links between previous and future research into the psychology and, more specifically, the motivation of entrepreneurs using a self-regulation perspective. Recent research in work motivation has shifted from focusing on the single concept of ‘goal setting’ and ‘intentions’ towards a broader understanding of self-regulation processes (Diefendorff and Lord, 2008). Self-regulation is the capacity of individuals to guide their activities over time and across changing circumstances (Kanfer, 1990). We aim to incorporate this broader understanding into entrepreneurship research as we believe it allows for a better understanding of the function and form of the entrepreneurial mindset. In addition, a self-regulation perspective permits integration of empirical findings about the dynamic nature of the entrepreneurial process, while keeping goal-directed individuals as the central actors in that process. We review psychological research in entrepreneurship for the following reasons. First, self-regulation theories – such as the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991), through its core concept of behavioral intentions, and Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1991), through its core concept of self-efficacy – are among the most popular motivation theories used in entrepreneurship research. However, it is not well known among entrepreneurship scholars that the foregoing work motivation theories may be integrated within a selfregulation framework, together with more recently emerging research streams, including but not limited to cognitive and learning styles (Sadler-Smith and Badger, 1998) as well as goal generating and goal striving. Thus, we show how these theories may...

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