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Identity, identity formation and identity work in entrepreneurship: Conceptual developments and empirical applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2016


This paper reviews the current status of research into entrepreneurial identity. Identities – individual and organizational – can potentially serve as powerful elements that both drive and are shaped by entrepreneurial actions. Identity is, of course, a complex construct with multidisciplinary roots and consequentially a range of conceptual meanings and theoretical roles associated with it. Building on a framework for identifying schools of thought in the social sciences, we highlight the need for more critical studies of entrepreneurial identity that recognize, first, that entrepreneurial identity is a dynamic and fluid rather than (relatively) fixed and unchanging feature, and second, that research attention should shift from the analysis of identity per se (the identity-as-entity position) to the identity work processes through which entrepreneurial identities are shaped and formed (the identity-as-process position). Following a summary of the key contributions of the five papers included in this Special Issue, we conclude with some pointers for future research.

    Research areas

  • entrepreneurial identity, individual identity, social identity, organizational identity, identity work, process

ID: 43182416