IT'S WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT: FOUNDER IDENTITY AND ENACTING STRATEGIC RESPONSES TO ADVERSITY

TitleIT'S WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT: FOUNDER IDENTITY AND ENACTING STRATEGIC RESPONSES TO ADVERSITY
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsE. Powell E, Baker T
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume57
Issue5
Pagination1406-1433
Date PublishedOct
ISBN Number0001-4273
Accession NumberWOS:000343641400009
Abstract

We conducted a longitudinal field study of 13 resource-constrained founder-rim textile and apparel firms to understand how and why firms vary in their strategic responses to the same adversity. We discovered that founders enact distinctly different definitions of the adversity and use their firms as vehicles to defend who they are or to become who they want to be. Bridging two formerly disparate social psychological theories of identity, we develop grounded theory and a process model that together contribute toward our understanding of how and why differences in the structure of founder identity the set of identities that is chronically salient to a founder in her/his day-to-day work drive patterned differences in firms' strategic responses. The processes we describe help explain responses to adversity and also provide a platform for research that may generate new insights into the significance for founders of bringing "who I am" into closer alignment with "who I want to be."

DOI10.5465/amj.2012.0454