The role of emotions in entrepreneurial actions and imagination: A subjectivist perspective

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Sanjay Goel, Ranjan Karri
Title: The role of emotions in entrepreneurial actions and imagination: A subjectivist perspective
Conference name: International Council for Small Business
Year: 2007
City: Turku, Finland
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Management (*** Error ***)
School of Management S- 371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:,
Language: English
Abstract: In spite of its significance in human behavior in general, the role of emotions has received little attention in entrepreneurship literature (Cardon et al. 2005). In this paper, we develop arguments linking specific emotions in elaborating entrepreneurial action and imagination. Our key assertion in this paper is that emotions interact with entrepreneurial actions and imagination to create and mobilize resources, reducing the need for predictive strategies. Thus, while emotions may underlie all human action, we assert that they play a crucial role in creating new resources via entrepreneurial imagination and action. Our premise is that entrepreneurial actions are based on expectations of the future (i.e. imagining future possibilities rather than extrapolating from the past) and jointly creating opportunities with an active interaction with other actors (potential stakeholders). While our paper is based on literature on emotions in economics and sociology (e.g. Barbalet, 1998; Collins, 1993; Pixley, 2002), that has categorized several different emotions and addressed the role of emotions in human action in general, in this abstract we focus on the three anticipatory emotions of confidence, and optimism/pessimism. We link these emotions to entrepreneurial actions, expectations, and imagination.
Subject: Business Administration\Management Control