Ted Baker, E. Erin Powell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


The study of founder identity is an important frontier in our understanding of the people and processes involved in the creation and nurturing of new organizations. In this chapter, we review the remarkable recent development of Founder Identity Theory by tracing its genesis to work by psychological and sociological social psychologists, analyzing the accomplishments of entrepreneurship scholars in synthesizing prior insights and describing both some attractive pathways forward and challenges we believe must be overcome for progress to continue. We emphasize the empirical complexity and messiness of contemporary human identities and we delineate approaches entrepreneurship scholars have taken to deal with this complexity in their work. This allows us to provide suggestions for the sorts of work and approaches that we argue will help this field of research – and this emerging theory – to flourish.Our fundamental argument is that progress requires both that we continue to draw on sound social psychological foundations and that we move away from the trap of oversimplified conceptions of how peoples’ identities play out as individuals and groups of entrepreneurs found and nurture new organizations. Founder Identity Theory will move forward by harnessing diverse streams of work toward powerful and practically useful insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Entrepreneurship
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000336573
ISBN (Print)9780367684495
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Psychology


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