Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn and Eddy Laveren
Chapter 10: Narrating entrepreneurial identities: how achievement motivation influences restaurateurs’ identity construction
Entrepreneurial identity is emergent and develops through interaction with various actors. The previous identity literature has presumed that motives remain stable over time, yet as individuals mature their motivations and goals often change. This chapter investigates how entrepreneurs adapt their entrepreneurial self-stories to their changed goals. To achieve this we explore seven high-profile restaurateurs’ business lives and show how their stories have been reinvented over time. Three different narratives are employed to illustrate the entrepreneurs’ original career choices: dream follower, serendipitous craftsman and forced opportunist. By demonstrating how achievement motivation affects restauranteurs’ need to either belong or be distinct and thus their construction of their narrative entrepreneurial identity, our research enhances existing work on identity construction by highlighting the close relationship between restaurateurs’ career stage and their emphasis on either the need for belonging or the need for distinctiveness. To be more precise our research finds that while restaurateurs’ early identities centred on presenting themselves as chefs, their subsequent depictions are wrapped up in their social identity to a much great extent, representing the restauranteurs as whole rounded people rather limiting them to a particular role.
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