Abstract

The relationship era of management has shifted importance from competence to workplace likeability (Mahrer, 2014). Likeable individuals tend to have a better chance at being hired (Sanders, 2006), tend to be desirable to work with (Casciaro & Lobo, 2005), may have an easier time getting support and information from others (Cialdini, 2009; Shellenbarger, 2014), often are forgiven for mistakes (Shellenbarger, 2014) and may be given more opportunities for advancement (Mahrer, 2014). The likeability of a person is critical for leadership success (Casciaro & Lobo, 2005; Sanders, 2006; Wojciszke & Abele, 2008; Kerpen, 2013). Cialdini (2009) indicates that likable people are more influential and persuasive. Likeability has been argued to benefit various professions such as teachers, physicians, defendants in court cases, salespeople and cocktail waitresses (Humphries, 2000; Jayanti & Whipple, 2008; Schlosberg 2005; Sanders, 2006). However, the research of likability’s effect on entrepreneurship remains limited.

In this research, I attempt to fill this research gap by studying how liking of the person (smiling and professional attire) and liking of the expression (readability and complexity) and interact to influence crowdfunding outcome. By employing the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and social presence theory, I argued, hypothesized and tested that powerful persuasion (project attractiveness) results from both liking of the person (smile and professional attire) and liking of the expression (readability and complexity).

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