Uncovering Patterns of Narrative Identity Work in Serial Entrepreneurship: A Longitudinal Mixed-Method Study

30 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2016

See all articles by Antonio Giuliani

Antonio Giuliani

IÉSEG School of Management; University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Managerial Studies

Alberto Monti

Bocconi University School of Law

Date Written: February 2, 2016

Abstract

Narrative Identity Work (NIW) is a crucial activity to garner support for and develop new projects. Entrepreneurs can use NIW as a communication device to “connect” their projects with relevant external audiences, but they need to be able to strike a balance between legitimacy and distinctiveness in their narrations. This task is even more challenging for serial entrepreneurs as they tend to wear multiple hats across different ventures facing the potential unintended consequence of displacing audiences. As this topic is rather underdeveloped in entrepreneurship research, we conduct an exploratory study to investigate the NIW “at play” over a 23 year span of a successful serial entrepreneur’s ongoing career. We analyzed a dataset of 203 texts including either interviews or the publications’ authors’ voices released through different media to reconstruct NIW’s mechanisms with a potential relevance for projects’ legitimacy and differentiation. A combination of interpretive qualitative techniques and semantic network analysis, a new analytical technique introduced here for entrepreneurship scholars, has been used to generate and illustrate our results.

Keywords: Narratives, Identity, Entrepreneurship. Identity Work, Semantic Network Analysis

Suggested Citation

Giuliani, Antonio and Monti, Alberto, Uncovering Patterns of Narrative Identity Work in Serial Entrepreneurship: A Longitudinal Mixed-Method Study (February 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726860 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2726860

Antonio Giuliani (Contact Author)

IÉSEG School of Management ( email )

Socle de la Grande Arche
1 Parvis de la Defense
Puteaux, Paris 92800
France

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Managerial Studies ( email )

601 S. Morgan St. (M/C 243)
University Hall 2203
Chicago, IL 60607-7122
United States

Alberto Monti

Bocconi University School of Law ( email )

Via Roentgen, 1
Milan, Milan 20136
Italy

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