Title: Unveiling the sustainable facet of the conventional entrepreneur - a cognitive approach

Authors: Sylvaine Castellano; Insaf Khelladi; Loick Menvielle

Addresses: Chair Entrepreneurship and Diversity, Paris School of Business, 59 rue nationale, 75013 Paris, France ' ICN Business School, 13 Rue Michel Ney, 54000 Nancy, France ' EDHEC Business School, 393, Promenade des Anglais, BP3116, 06202 Nice Cedex 3, France

Abstract: Previous studies have identified various types of entrepreneurs (i.e., conventional, social, sustainable), while focusing on underlying their differences in terms of motivations and purposes. Few studies have looked at the drivers of entrepreneurs to adopt sustainable activities. We are particularly interested in exploring the cognitive bases that guide conventional entrepreneurs' behaviours. We aim to identify and explain their motivations to adopt sustainable development practices and explore whether these motivations differ from those of social and sustainable entrepreneurs. We use methods from cognitive psychology (laddering) to identify the values and aspirations that guide entrepreneurs. We investigate the cognitive bases and processes of ten entrepreneurs. We unveil the attributes, consequences and values that drive them to adopt sustainable practices and uncover their means-end chains. We find that the three economic, social and environmental facets shape the cognitive process of the conventional entrepreneur. These results extend previous studies on entrepreneurial motivations and intentions.

Keywords: conventional entrepreneur; entrepreneurial motivation; cognitive approach; laddering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2017.084848

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2017 Vol.31 No.3, pp.434 - 450

Received: 31 Mar 2015
Accepted: 20 Jan 2016

Published online: 22 Jun 2017 *

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