On SAGE Insight: Entrepreneurship as a Calling: A Pilot Study with Aspiring Entrepreneurs

From The Journal of Entrepreneurship

Research regarding how people experience their work has been a central topic in work and organizational studies. According to Wrzesniewski, McCauley and Rozin (1997), people may experience their work in three different ways or work orientations: as a job, as a career or as a calling.

When individuals perceive their work as a job, their main focus is on economic income. For these individuals, work means some hard stuff that is required by individuals to be able to earn money and enjoy life beyond their work. On the contrary, when individuals experience their work as a career, they seek to advance in their occupational structure and improve their professional status. Finally, individuals who experience their work as a calling feel that their work is inseparable from their life. They are not looking for material benefits or career advancement but rather for the fulfilment provided by the meaning their work provides them.

This article introduces the entrepreneurship orientations of job, career and calling into the field of entrepreneurship. It also relates the entrepreneurial experience as a job, career or calling to the dual-route strategy framework which entrepreneurs use to attract resources, namely network positioning and proactive search. The study demonstrates that the way aspiring entrepreneurs experienced their role affected resource holders’ choice to join in future new ventures. Investors and venture capitalists should therefore take the entrepreneurial work orientation into account when thinking about funding new ventures.

Abstract

Previous research in work and organisational studies has found that individuals may experience their work as a job, a career or a calling. That experience, in turn, has a significant influence on their performance. In the present study, we apply this framework to the field of entrepreneurship and examine if the experience of aspiring entrepreneurs as a job, a career or a calling impacts their ability to attract resources for a new venture by considering two different resource attraction strategies presented in the literature: network positioning and proactive search. The results show that seeing entrepreneurship as a job has a negative impact on both network positioning and proactive search strategies. Experiencing entrepreneurship as a calling, however, has a positive impact on proactive search strategy. Perceiving entrepreneurship as a career is not related to resource attraction strategies. These findings illustrate that the way aspiring entrepreneurs experience their role as entrepreneurs affects their efforts as well as others’ confidence in terms of attracting resources for their new ventures. Theoretical and practical implications are addressed at the end of this work.

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Article details
Entrepreneurship as a Calling: A Pilot Study with Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Patricia Jardim Da Palma, Miguel Pereira Lopes, Telmo Ferreira Alves
First Published July 19, 2018 Research Article
DOI: 10.1177/0971355718781276
From The Journal of Entrepreneurship

 

     
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