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How does entrepreneurial failure change an entrepreneur's digital identity? Evidence from Twitter data

Christian Fisch and Joern Block ()

Journal of Business Venturing, 2021, vol. 36, issue 1

Abstract: We assess whether and how entrepreneurs' digital identities change in response to entrepreneurial failure based on a sample of 760 entrepreneurs who experienced failure. We analyze a longitudinal dataset of Twitter messages before, during, and after a business failure with a language-based method of computerized text analysis. The results of our explorative research indicate that the financial, social, and psychological consequences of failure are reflected in entrepreneurs' Tweets and lead to changes in their digital identities. Among others, entrepreneurs' language decreases in emotional tone and indicates increased psychological distress. Simultaneously, we observe higher levels of self-assurance and reflection after failure. We conclude by outlining the potential of using Twitter-generated digital footprints in future entrepreneurship research.

Keywords: Digital identity; Failure; Twitter; Entrepreneur; Text analysis; Digital footprints; LIWC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2020.106015

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