Disentangling Gut Feeling - Assessing the Integrity of Social Entrepreneurs

36 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 14 Feb 2012

See all articles by Ann‐Kristin Achleitner

Ann‐Kristin Achleitner

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies

Eva Lutz

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Finance

Judith Mayer

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies

Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl

European Center for Social Finance

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper analyzes how social investors evaluate the integrity of social entrepreneurs. Based on an experiment with 40 professionals and 40 students, we investigate how five attributes of the entrepreneur contribute to the assessment of integrity. These attributes are the entrepreneur’s personal experience, professional background, voluntary accountability efforts, reputation and awards/fellowships granted to the entrepreneur. We find that social investors focus largely on voluntary accountability efforts of the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur’s reputation when judging integrity. For an overall positive judgment of integrity, it was sufficient if either reputation or voluntary accountability efforts of the entrepreneur were high. By comparing professionals with students, we show that experience leads to a simpler decision model focusing on key attributes.

Keywords: social entrepreneur, social investor, integrity, conjoint analysis, venture philanthropy

JEL Classification: M13, M14

Suggested Citation

Achleitner, Ann-Kristin and Lutz, Eva and Mayer, Judith and Spiess-Knafl, Wolfgang, Disentangling Gut Feeling - Assessing the Integrity of Social Entrepreneurs (August 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911763 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1911763

Ann-Kristin Achleitner

Technische Universität München - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, D-80290
Germany
+49 89 289 25181 (Phone)

Eva Lutz

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Finance ( email )

Universitätsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, 40225
Germany

Judith Mayer (Contact Author)

Technische Universität München (TUM) - Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies ( email )

Arcisstraße 21
München, 80333
Germany

Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl

European Center for Social Finance ( email )

Munich
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecsocfin.com

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