From dishwasher to celebrity restaurateur: Narrating entrepreneurial identities
2015 (English)In: Academy of Management Proceedings, January 2015 (Meeting Abstract Supplement) 10037, 2015Conference 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. Identity is the internalized self-view that emerges from identification with particular roles and reflects the integration of experiences and events into coherent life trajectory. Identity construction reflects the adjustment towards emerging career aspirations in order to provide fit with the changing life goals. Building on the Optimal Distinctiveness Theory, we analyze narratives of celebrity restaurateurs by examining how they construct and tell their stories over time. The analysis shows that individuals construct their identity by balancing two needs – need for belonging and need for distinctiveness; that self-narratives help construct the desired identities stressing belonging early on and later on highlighting distinctiveness; and that the level of effort put into construction of desired identity depends on the salience and level of identification with the aspired identity. More specifically, we develop a model explaining how motivation and role models influence identity construction over time, i.e. how the source of motivation and the value of being similar or distinctive from others influence the effort put into the construction of identity. Finally, we also discuss how the celebrity aspect contributes to construction of identity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
entrepreneurial identity; identity stories; narratives
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29104OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-29104DiVA: diva2:894728
Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Vancouver, August 7-11.