How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs
Chapter 6: Experiencing and the Entrepreneur: The Role of Affect
Experiences occur as a result of encountering, undergoing or living through things . . . they provide sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and relational values that replace functional values. (Bernd Schmitt, 2010) INTRODUCTION Emotions and feelings, or affect, play a large role in entrepreneurship. Fear, joy, anger, shame, and other strong emotions not only drive the entrepreneur, but impact how he or she processes information, responds to various stimuli, and makes decisions. If an entrepreneur experiences a prolonged period of depression, feelings of being under assault, or an enduring sense of joy and excitement, it is quite likely that his or her tendency to take risks, persevere, act creatively, or challenge convention will be meaningfully impacted. Our experiential framework provides a lens for better understanding the role of emotions and feelings in venture creation. As we shall see, affect lies at the very heart of experiencing. This conclusion is reinforced by Slovic et al. (2002), who characterize the experiential mode as intuitive, automatic, natural, and based on images to which positive and negative affective feelings are attached. They note (p. 130): One of the main characteristics of the experiential system is its affective basis. Although analysis is certainly important in some decision-making circumstances, reliance on affect and emotion is a quicker, easier and more efficient way to navigate in a complex, uncertain and sometimes dangerous world. Many theorists have given affect a direct and primary role in motivating behavior. Affect plays a complex role in experiencing. As various events occur over time, emotions will...
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