Disentangeling gut feeling: Assessing the integrity of social entrepreneurs
This paper analyzes how social investors evaluate the integrity of social entrepreneurs. Based on an experiment with 40 professionals and 40 students, we investigate how five attributes of the entrepreneur contribute to the assessment of integrity. These attributes are the entrepreneur's personal experience, professional background, voluntary accountability efforts, reputation and awards/fellowships granted to the entrepreneur. We find that social investors focus largely on voluntary accountability efforts of the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur's reputation when judging integrity. For an overall positive judgment of integrity, it was sufficient if either reputation or voluntary accountability efforts of the entrepreneur were high. By comparing professionals with students, we show that experience leads to a simpler decision model focusing on key attributes.
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