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Disentangeling gut feeling: Assessing the integrity of social entrepreneurs

  • Achleitner, Ann-Kristin
  • Lutz, Eva
  • Mayer, Judith
  • Spiess-Knafl, Wolfgang
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    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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    Paper provided by Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS), Technische Universität München in its series CEFS Working Paper Series with number 2011-03.

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    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cefswp:201103
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    9. Mair, Johanna & Martí, Ignasi, 2006. "Social entrepreneurship research: A source of explanation, prediction, and delight," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 36-44, February.
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    11. Tyzoon T. Tyebjee & Albert V. Bruno, 1984. "A Model of Venture Capitalist Investment Activity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1051-1066, September.
    12. Zahra, Shaker A. & Gedajlovic, Eric & Neubaum, Donald O. & Shulman, Joel M., 2009. "A typology of social entrepreneurs: Motives, search processes and ethical challenges," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 519-532, September.
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