Narrating entrepreneurial identities of gourmet chefs
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The concept of identity is of central importance to understanding how individuals make sense of their lives and how they enact environment to be able to achieve their goals. One of the basic assumptions underlying the extant research is the stability of the motives over time. Yet, life goals and motivations driving human action can change over time, and this has an impact on identity construction. Consequently, this study explores how entrepreneurs narrate these changes when constructing their entrepreneurial identities. We analyze the narratives of seven celebrity restaurateurs by examining how they construct and tell their stories over time. We identify three different types of narratives that are being used to explain the initial career decision: dream follower; serendipitous craftsman and forced opportunist. Interestingly, these narratives do not translate into three narratives of entrepreneurial identity.We add to current research on identity, illustrating how identity narratives change over time, moving from a focus on belonging to a focus on satisfying the need for distinctiveness. We suggest that there is a link between role identity and the need for belonging as well as between social identity and the need for uniqueness. More specifically, we found that while the early narratives focused on the role identity, establishing oneself as a chef, the later narratives are richer in elements of social identity, presenting more of a whole person rather than a person in role. Finally, we identify how achievement motivation influences the emphasis on either the need for belonging or need for distinctiveness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34563OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34563DiVA: diva2:1059404
RENT XXX: 30th anniversary of the RENT conference, Antwerp, November 16th-18th, 2016.