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Entrepreneurial Hustle: Navigating Uncertainty and Enrolling Venture Stakeholders through Urgent and Unorthodox Action

Greg Fisher, Regan Stevenson, Emily Neubert, Devin Burnell and Donald F. Kuratko

Journal of Management Studies, 2020, vol. 57, issue 5, 1002-1036

Abstract: Entrepreneurs need to act under conditions of uncertainty and resource constraints to bring new, often‐unrecognizable products to market and convince an unknown set of stakeholders to support their endeavours. The type of action entrepreneurs take to navigate uncertain entrepreneurial contexts is underspecified. We analysed 48 interviews with entrepreneurs to inductively identify an action‐oriented construct we labelled as entrepreneurial hustle – an entrepreneur’s urgent, unorthodox actions that are intended to be useful in addressing immediate challenges and opportunities under conditions of uncertainty. In a follow‐up study, we use an experimental vignette approach to assess the impact of an entrepreneur’s hustle on venture stakeholders. Findings suggest that entrepreneurial hustle positively influences stakeholder perceptions of the entrepreneur’s leadership effectiveness and a venture’s legitimacy, mediated by perceptions of the entrepreneur’s ability‐based trustworthiness. We conclude that entrepreneurial hustle is a fundamental behaviour that enables entrepreneurs to enrol new venture stakeholders and lead their entrepreneurial efforts.

Date: 2020
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