Previous research emphasises storytelling as the means by which entrepreneurs gain stakeholder support. If new ventures are to survive and grow, they require the backing of a range of stakeholders. Yet the processes of storytelling that appealed to early-stage groups like investors may not attract later-stage audiences. Posing obstacles to survivability and development, this also raises questions about how entrepreneurs learn about and garner the attention of future groups. To explore this important phenomenon, we conduct a qualitative study of how entrepreneurs extend processes of storytelling to industry analysts, a key stakeholder group for digital ventures. We develop a model that reveals how industry analysts probe and problematise the storytelling processes entrepreneurs put forward – which encourages their revision. Our key finding is that entrepreneurs struggle to move beyond the initial investor pitch and understand the expectations of industry analyst briefings. Still, they can repair connections with this audience through revising stories. We offer contributions to cultural entrepreneurship research on framing, audience expectations and story replotting.
- grounded theory
- information systems
- science and technology studies (STS)