It's not Charisma that Makes Extraordinarily Successful Entrepreneurs, but Extraordinary Success that Makes Entrepreneurs Charismatic: A Second-Order Observation of the Self-Reinforcing Entrepreneurial Ideology

F.H. Gerpott, Alfred Kieser

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Extreme success among entrepreneurs is often attributed to their charisma. In contrast, this essay claims that success causes the ascription of charisma to entrepreneurs. The proponents of the entrepreneurial ideology uphold successful charismatic entrepreneurs as role models to attract aspiring entrepreneurs in the face of deterrent information like the share of luck accountable for many prosperous entrepreneurial projects, startups’ low success rate, the entrepreneur’s restricted role in creating economic growth, and the routinization of the entrepreneurial function. Yet, due to the ideological functionality of attributing charisma to successful entrepreneurs, we suggest that – despite the strong contrary evidence – the glorification of entrepreneurs will continue to exist (and might become even stronger) in times of “alternative facts”. Yet, such a strategy of biased fact interpretation may have considerable negative side effects on society and individuals striving for entrepreneurship. Therefore, we not only call for more research taking into account the multidimensional nature of entrepreneurship, but also sensitize researchers for the threat of post-factual thinking when engaging in an ideological intervened research stream.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147–166
JournalManagementforschung
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

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Charisma
Ideology
Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship
Functionality
Routinization
Luck
Start-ups
Economic growth
Threat
Role model
Side effects

Cite this

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