Managers' emotional displays and employees' willingness to act entrepreneurially

Ethel Brundin, Holger Patzelt, Dean A. Shepherd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this study we draw on the literature of emotions and entrepreneurial motivation to analyze how and why emotional displays of managers influence the willingness of employees to act entrepreneurially. Using an experimental design and 2912 assessments nested within 91 employees from 31 small entrepreneurially oriented firms, we find that managers' displays of confidence and satisfaction about entrepreneurial projects enhance employees' willingness to act entrepreneurially, whereas displays of frustration, worry, and bewilderment diminish employees' willingness. Moreover, we find that displays of satisfaction, frustration, worry, and bewilderment moderate the effect of managers' displayed confidence on employees' willingness to act entrepreneurially. Our findings have implications for the emotions and entrepreneurial motivation literature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecision Making in Entrepreneurship
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Joint Papers of Dean A. Shepherd
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781784716042
ISBN (Print)9781784716035
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Confidence
  • Conjoint Experiment
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Emotional displays
  • Emotions
  • Entrepreneural motivation


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