Theses Doctoral

Three Essays Exploring Motivational Influences in Entrepreneurship

Kanze, Dana

Drawing upon the regulatory theories of focus, mode, and fit, the three chapters of this dissertation demonstrate that subtle distinctions in framing and word choice can have profound impact for entrepreneurs and their startups. In Chapter 1, a field study and experiment on regulatory focus reveal that investors pose promotion-focused questions in the domain of gains to male entrepreneurs and prevention-focused questions in the domain of losses to female entrepreneurs, helping to explain the sizable gap in their respective funding outcomes. Chapter 2’s archival and experimental studies pertaining to regulatory mode indicate that organizations with mission statements high in locomotion (the mode of urgent action) and low in assessment (the mode of thoughtful consideration) have a greater likelihood and frequency of involvement in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cases of discrimination. Across an observational and experimental study, Chapter 3 shows entrepreneurs seek regulatory fit in the form of social identity alignment that helps to explain variations in talent selection and retention, with those manifesting the identity of a “builder” (motivated to incrementally improve over time) exhibiting higher tenure rates than those manifesting the identity of a “disrupter” (motivated to break with the status quo). Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Phillips, Damon J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 3, 2019