Forgone but not Forgotten: A Job and Leisure Crafting Perspective of how Employees Fulfill Their Unanswered Entrepreneurial Identity Aspirations
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Aspirations to be an entrepreneur motivate individuals to take entrepreneurial action and to work towards starting a new venture. It is unclear, however, how these entrepreneurial aspirations influence full-time employees’ current work-related entrepreneurial behaviors and what micro-mechanisms facilitate employees’ ability to obtain their desired entrepreneurial identity. My research provides an initial investigation into this topic. Specifically, I draw from theory on possible selves to predict that entrepreneurial identity aspirations motivate employees to not only engage in nascent entrepreneurial behaviors (discovery and exploitation) but also to engage in employee entrepreneurial behaviors within their existing organization. Furthermore, I integrate theory on possible selves with theory on job and leisure crafting to shed light on how these working individuals behave and structure their lives to obtain this desired, but unanswered, entrepreneurial identity. Specifically, I argue that job crafting facilitates the positive relationship between entrepreneurial identity aspirations and employee entrepreneurial behaviors, whereas leisure crafting mediates the positive relationship between entrepreneurial identity aspirations and nascent entrepreneurial behaviors. Moreover, I argue that employees’ organizational identification will intensify the relationship between their entrepreneurial identity aspiration and their job crafting, whereas it will weaken the relationship between entrepreneurial identity aspirations and leisure crafting. Results from a multi-wave study of 683 full-time employees support all my predictions except for the moderating effect of organizational identification on the job crafting path. Implications for theory, research, and practice are provided and future research directions are offered.