What We Know and What We Need to Know
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 12: Psychology of entrepreneurial behavior
An early working title of this chapter was 'Entrepreneurial psychology', but that particular term risks confounding the psychological study of entrepreneurs with a suggestion that, as a discipline, psychology behaves more entrepreneurially than do other disciplines. We are clearly interested in the former, an interest reflected in the present title of the chapter. When the first Psychology of Entrepreneurship course was taught, in 1993 at the College of William & Mary, the challenge was to find enough relevant literature to justify the course title. Now, the challenge is to characterize - in a relatively short summary - a field that has grown exponentially. As of this writing (2011), there are two books specifically on the topic: The Psychology of Entrepreneurship, edited by Baum, Frese and Baron (2007), and Understanding the Entrepreneurial Mind, edited by Carsrud and Brännback (2009). More are probably on the way. Research procedures that are taught in every psychology methods course have been brought to bear on the study of entrepreneurial behavior (Davidsson, 2005) and the new Editor of the Journal of Business Venturing has appointed three Associate Editors, one for economics, one for sociology, and one for psychology (Shepherd, 2010).
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