New publication on founder identity and firm creation
Dr. Shirah Foy and Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber have published a new article in the Academy of Management Journal entitled "Identity-Society (Mis)Alignment and the Instrumentalization of Firm Creation: Creative Destruction and Creative Reconstruction"
Research on founder identity has significantly advanced our understanding of entrepreneurship and related literatures. By departing from the widely held—though often implicit—assumption that culture defines the parameters of identity formation, this paper is able to investigate how the alignment, or misalignment, between a founder’s identity and her perceived sociocultural context influences new firm creation. We engaged in an in-depth qualitative study of 49 founders in Taiwan that revealed how founders’ identity structures can be (mis)aligned with their perceived social structures, and how the reinforcement or tensions generated by (mis)alignment can fuel the creation of fundamentally different types of ventures – including those that challenge the perceived sociocultural status quo with a social mission intended to push society toward a new equilibrium. Our theory of founder identity–society (mis)alignment is therefore able to specify a key mechanism linking the founder’s identity with perceived sociocultural context. Furthermore, we advance the influential Schumpeterian theory of creative destruction beyond the purely economic context, to address the broader sociocultural environment and to incorporate the concept of creative reconstruction, in which entrepreneurs seek to restore elements of society past.