Abstract

Identity research in entrepreneurship has focussed on personal identity as one’s sense of self, on identity as in some sense the fixed reference point around which individuals engage in entrepreneurial activities and roles, and on identity as a covariant of outcomes and processes of interest. Here we argue for three shifts of emphasis. First, we focus on identity as a social as well as a personal construct. Second, we consider identity as dynamic and fluid rather than as a (relatively) fixed and unchanging feature. Third, on the basis of this, we concentrate on the process through which entrepreneurial identities are formed and shaped, through identity work, and argue that only by understanding the dynamics of identity formation is it possible to relate identity to entrepreneurial outcomes.

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