Negative emotions in entrepreneurship

Today’s social and political environment often embeds entrepreneurs in “entrepreneurial ecosystems”, which shape their emotional and motivational responses. In researching social interactions, Doern and Goss (2014) found that Russian entrepreneurs experienced negative emotions, like shame, and enacted behaviors to manage such emotions in interactions with state officials. Their main finding is that while such behaviors may help entrepreneurs “manage negative emotions, and minimize conflict” they also “corrode entrepreneurial motivation” (p. 864) and distract entrepreneurs from developing their ventures. One key takeaway for us is the authors’ exploration of shame as “one of several ‘social,’ ‘other-oriented’ emotions … that have an important function to play in social interactions” (p. 866). We share the authors’ enthusiasm about raising awareness of the role of negative emotions in entrepreneurial success, failure, and motivation. We add to it the encouragement for scholars to continue to explore the entrepreneurial mindset, and the pursuit of innovation, as a psychosocial process laden with both conscious and unconscious emotions, thoughts, and imaginings.