Abstract

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” – Søren Kierkegaard

A vibrant area of entrepreneurship research has emerged that imports, develops, and extends theories of emotion to explore affect and entrepreneurship, specifically the notions of passion, general positive and negative affect, fear, or grief. One commonly experienced, but under-researched, emotion is anxiety. Entrepreneurs often take on many roles and tasks – e.g. solving problems quickly, working long hours, having personal responsibility to employees, and acquiring debt – in a context of income and job uncertainty that produces anxieties. Whilst current studies have made gains by studying individual emotional responses to venture failure, opportunity recognition and evaluation, and decision making, we still lack an understanding of how the entrepreneurship process produces anxiety and, more importantly, how entrepreneurs cope with this emotion.

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