Personnel Psychology—Organizational Behavior and HRM Perspectives on Entrepreneurship

Starts:  Aug 1, 2022 09:00 (ET)
Ends:  Aug 31, 2022 20:00 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)
Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Perspectives on Entrepreneurship

Guest Editors: David A. Waldman, Miriam Erez, Zhaoli Song, Ute Stephan, Donald S. Siegel

According to Shane and Venkataraman (2000, p. 218), entrepreneurship is defined as the process by which “opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated, and exploited” in the context of establishing a new venture. This definition covers a range of ventures, including technological startups, small manufacturing and service firms, corporate entrepreneurship including “intrapreneurship,” and social ventures (i.e., social entrepreneurship). Entrepreneurship is a topic of growing interest to academics in management and related social science disciplines. Scholars in organizational behavior (OB) and human resource management (HRM) have been slower than academics in other fields of management and business to embrace the study of entrepreneurship. While cognitive and psychological perspectives on entrepreneurship have had some influence on the field (Gielnik, Cardon & Frese, 2020; Uy, Foo, & Song, 2013), macro perspectives from economics, strategy, and sociology are largely predominant (Clough, Fang, Vissa, &Wu, 2019).

That is unfortunate since entrepreneurship cannot be fully understood and developed without a broader understanding of micro- and meso- processes that enable its emergence and success. Entrepreneurship is initiated by individuals or teams of entrepreneurs, who identify needs or opportunities and then develop new ventures to exploit these opportunities. Who are these individuals or teams of entrepreneurs, and how do they identify new needs or opportunities? How do they generate new ideas and transform them into final products that solve problems or exploit opportunities? How do more traditional/organizational environments nourish their entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities (Feng, Seibert, & Allen, 2021)? These are questions that can best be addressed using OB and HRM theories and perspectives. Such micro orientations to entrepreneurship are even more timely and important in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, we need to consider both the “bright side” and the “dark side” of being an entrepreneur. Regarding the latter, entrepreneurship is associated with a high probability of failure, considerable stress, work-life imbalance, and it sometimes attracts charismatic, but unethical entrepreneurs, such as Elizabeth Holmes. The role of entrepreneurship in career development has also been largely ignored in the macro literature on entrepreneurship. In addition, researchers could use the entrepreneurial context to improve our understanding of practical HR challenges, such as corporate incentive design, openness to information from inside and outside the organization, gender and diversity issues, and work-life balance.

Moreover, crises contexts, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, may present unique challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs. The pandemic has led to lockdown, and business disruptions and failures. Employees have been forced to stay at home or have seen lost their jobs (Beland, Brodeur, & Wright, 2020). However, the pandemic has created unique business opportunities as well. A recent global survey of over 5,000 entrepreneurs indicates that almost 40% of respondents recognized new business opportunities during the pandemic (Stephan et al., 2021). For example, stay-at-home orders have forced many entrepreneurs to rely heavily on the internet for personal needs and work, which has created more opportunities for so-called cyber or digital entrepreneurship (Tajvidi, & Tajvidi, 2020). The pandemic has also stimulated social entrepreneurs to be mobilized to tackle COVID-related social problems (Bacq & Lumpkin, 2020). Shepherd (2020) suggested that the pandemic has challenged fundamental assumptions of the field of entrepreneurship. At a micro level, we need a better understanding of how entrepreneurship is related to the “new normal”, social resilience, loneliness, and responses to adversity, such as the adversity presented in the COVID-19 pandemic (Shepherd, 2020).

In sum, we recognize that entrepreneurship research needs a better understanding of how individual characteristics (e.g., genetic and neurological predispositions, proactive personality), motivation, identity, leadership (e.g., visionary leadership), teams, ethics, organizational culture, and organizational deviance affect entrepreneurial activity. Furthermore, in a symbiotic manner, the study of entrepreneurship from a more micro perspective could help enrich existing theories of OB and HRM. With that said, it is important to note that micro perspectives on entrepreneurship are still at an embryonic stage, with critical issues regarding frameworks and empirical methods yet to be resolved. Accordingly, a primary goal of this special issue is to serve as a catalyst for scholarly work on entrepreneurship that expands the domain from a largely exclusive focus on the macro level of analysis to a broader perspective that incorporates issues that are more directly related to OB and HRM.

Finally, entrepreneurship has become a global phenomenon in both developed and developing countries, as documented in The Global Entrepreneurship Index. To fully address the global perspective, besides macro factors such as organizational characteristics, firm strategies, and social and economic environment, scholars will need to consider micro- and meso- based issues such as those pertaining to diversity and virtual teams, as well as cross-cultural differences in the meaning of entrepreneurship, and its manifestation in different cultures. A global perspective on the role of OB/HRM issues in entrepreneurship will improve our understanding of the crosscultural aspect of entrepreneurship (Stephan & Uhlaner, 2010). It will enable researchers to study whether the characteristics of entrepreneurship, and the factors that facilitate it, are universal vs. culture-specific. Indeed, an emphasis on the role of globalization in the context of entrepreneurship may be fertile ground for multi-level or meso research in OB/HRM.

Some specific issues that could be explored in this special issue include:

• HR implications of entrepreneurial firms, such as formation of entrepreneurial teams (Lazar, Miron-Spektor, Agarwal, Erez, Goldfarb, & Chen, 2020), business venturing training (Campos et al., 2017), incentive systems (Monsen, Patzelt, & Saxton, 2010), entrepreneurial team dynamics and learning processes, human capital (Estrin, Mickiewicz, & Stephan, 2016), as well as issues related to diversity and inclusion
• Leadership processes (e.g., visionary, servant, and so forth) relevant to entrepreneurship (e.g., Baum, Locke, & Kirkpatrick, 1998)
• How/whether entrepreneurs transition to be organizational leaders as their firms grow, or alternatively, quit to start a new venture (Feng et al., 2021)
• Personal qualities (e.g., narcissism; Galvin, Waldman, & Balthazard, 2010; initiative, Gielnik, Spitzmuller, Schmitt, Klemann & Frese, 2015; perseverance and self-efficacy, Markman, Baron, & Balkin, 2005) that may be relevant for entrepreneurs
• Ethical behavior and entrepreneurship (Harris, Sapienza, & Bowie, 2009), including the “dark side” of entrepreneurship, or what Baumol (1990) has called “unproductive” or “destructive” entrepreneurship
• The role of individuals in corporate entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship and how such activities affect managerial behavior and the corporate environment
• The role of gender in entrepreneurship (Jennings & Brush, 2013)
• OB and psychological perspectives on entrepreneurship, including the roles of identity, motivation, emotion, championing, education, work-life balance, and organizational justice (Balven, Fenters, Siegel, & Waldman, 2018; Waldman, Vaulont, Balven, Siegel, & Rupp, forthcoming)
• Entrepreneurship and career choices/development, including work in social sectors (e.g., social entrepreneurship; Zahra, Gedajlovic, Neubaum, & Shulman, 2009)
• Entrepreneurship and job quality (e.g., Litwin & Phan, 2013); entrepreneurs’ job crafting and job design choices and their own and stakeholder well-being and productivity (e.g., Stephan, 2018)
• HR implications of entrepreneurial finance, such as private equity
• HR implications of entrepreneurship on the part of knowledge workers including university-based and federal laboratory researchers (e.g., Balven et al., 2018; Link, Siegel, & Wright, 2015))
• Labor market and human resource management implications of entrepreneurial ecosystems, including incubators/accelerators and science/technology parks (Cohen, Bingham & Hallen, 2019)
• Neurological (de Holan, 2013), physiological (Bönte, Procher, & Urbig, 2015), and genetic factors (Nicolaou, Shane, Adi, Mangino, & Harris, 2011) relevant to entrepreneurs
• Cross-cultural aspects of entrepreneurship and how globalization affects OB and HR issues in entrepreneurship (Tansky, Soriano, & Dobón, 2010)
• The entrepreneurial team learning process (Zahra, 2012).
• How entrepreneurs deal with crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., effects of COVID-19 on small and medium-sized firms, social entrepreneurship, academic entrepreneurship, and self-employment using social media)
• How crises (e.g., COVID-19) influence the choice of people to take the risks involved in entrepreneurship, versus a choice of a secure job in the public sector or in large corporations

Submission Process and Timeline
To be considered for the Special Issue, manuscripts must be submitted between August 1 and August 31, 2022 by 8:00pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time. During this period, papers will be reviewed on an ongoing, rolling basis. Papers for this Special Issue cannot be submitted prior to August 1, 2022. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind review process and will be evaluated by two reviewers and a special issue editor. Final acceptance is contingent on the review team’s judgments of the paper’s contributions on four key dimensions:

1. Theoretical contribution: Does the article offer new and innovative ideas and insights or meaningfully extend existing theory? Are the articles embedded in the relevant literature?
2. Empirical contribution: Does the article offer new and unique findings, and are the study design, data analysis, and results rigorous and appropriate in testing the hypotheses or examining the research questions?
3. Practical contribution: Does the article contribute to the improved management of people in organizations?
4. Contribution to the special issue topic. Does the article contribute to the literature on organizational behavior and human resource management issues in entrepreneurship?

Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review according to the directions provided in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Formatting guidelines are also provided on Personnel Psychology’s website, under “author guidelines”: Be sure to team. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at:
Paper Development Workshop
Authors who receive a revise-and-resubmit decision will be invited to share their revisions at a paper development workshop prior to the formal resubmission of their papers. We expect that the workshop will take place in Phoenix, AZ toward the end of February 2023. One author per paper will be financially supported to attend (i.e., airplane fare, hotel). In-person attendance will be optional; authors will also be able to attend virtually through zoom. The goal of the workshop will be to further develop authors’ initial attempts at revision, prior to formally resubmitting their papers within a few months after the workshop.

Please direct all of your questions about the Special Issue to David Waldman (
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