A Behavioral Insights Approach to Recruiting Entrepreneurs for an Academic Study During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2021

See all articles by Elizabeth Tracy

Elizabeth Tracy

North Carolina State University

Joseph Billingsley

Tulane University

Jeffrey M. Pollack

NC State University

Dennis Barber III

East Carolina University

Ace Beorchia

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Jon Carr

North Carolina State University

Gabe Gonzalez

North Carolina State University

Michael Harris

East Carolina University

Timothy Michaelis

Northern Illinois University

Grayson Morrow

North Carolina State University

Duygu Phillips

Oklahoma State University

Matt Rutherford

Oklahoma State University

Lewis Sheats

North Carolina State University

Date Written: October 21, 2021

Abstract

What should researchers say when recruiting entrepreneurs to participate in their study? Using a sample of entrepreneurs (N=1,450) who were being asked to participate in an academic research project, we conducted an experiment to determine recruitment message efficacy. Drawing on best practices from the behavioral insights literature, we developed different email message recruitment statements that were randomly assigned across four phases of our experiment. Results indicate that a message grounded in the “descriptive norms” (i.e., social norms) approach resulted in the highest percentage of participants who clicked on the link to participate in our online survey. We discuss the theoretical as well as practical implications of our work.

Keywords: entrepreneur; participant; recruitment; research; behavioral insights

Suggested Citation

Tracy, Elizabeth and Billingsley, Joseph and Pollack, Jeffrey M. and Barber III, Dennis and Beorchia, Ace and Carr, Jon and Gonzalez, Gabe and Harris, Michael and Michaelis, Timothy and Morrow, Grayson and Phillips, Duygu and Rutherford, Matt and Sheats, Lewis, A Behavioral Insights Approach to Recruiting Entrepreneurs for an Academic Study During the COVID-19 Pandemic (October 21, 2021). Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3947108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3947108

Elizabeth Tracy

North Carolina State University

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Joseph Billingsley

Tulane University

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Jeffrey M. Pollack (Contact Author)

NC State University ( email )

Poole College of Management
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

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

Dennis Barber III

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC 27858
United States

Ace Beorchia

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

Jon Carr

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Gabe Gonzalez

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Michael Harris

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC 27858
United States

Timothy Michaelis

Northern Illinois University ( email )

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
United States

Grayson Morrow

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Duygu Phillips

Oklahoma State University

College of Human Sciences
Human Development and Family Sciences
Stillwater, OK 74078
United States

Matt Rutherford

Oklahoma State University

College of Human Sciences
Human Development and Family Sciences
Stillwater, OK 74078
United States

Lewis Sheats

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

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