Title: The interplay between empathy, learning, and opportunity in the process of entrepreneurial value co-creation

Authors: Amir Emami; Peter G. Klein; Veland Ramadani; Robert D. Hisrich

Addresses: Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, South Mofatteh Ave. No.43, 15719-14911 Tehran, Iran ' Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, 1621 S 3rd St, 76706 Waco, Texas, USA ' Faculty of Business and Economics, South-East European University, Ilindenska No. 335, 1200 Tetovo, Macedonia ' College of Business Administration, Kent State University, 44240 Kent, Ohio, USA

Abstract: This study investigates value co-creation in entrepreneurship: it focuses practically on the process through which the entrepreneur's new value proposition meets the customer's problem and pain. It argues that successful entrepreneurs tend to be more empathic than unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who offer their new values through an empathic relationship tend to learn vital market knowledge that shapes a shared mental model between themselves and the consumer that increases the likelihood of value co-creation. The performance of this relationship improves when there is a match between the entrepreneurs' learning approach and her initial perception of the opportunity pursued. Matching between learning skills and empathy also enhances the empathy capacity of the entrepreneur. Both matching mechanisms are important for value co-creation.

Keywords: empathy; entrepreneurial value co-creation; market knowledge; personality style.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2021.117518

European Journal of International Management, 2021 Vol.16 No.3, pp.408 - 426

Received: 09 Jan 2018
Accepted: 30 Jan 2018

Published online: 13 Sep 2021 *

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