Applied Psychology: An International Review Call for Papers:

How Do Entrepreneurs Influence Their Social Environment? New Psychological Perspectives

Guest Editors

Marjan Gorgievski, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Antje Schmitt, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Sílvia Fernandes Costa, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Safal Batra, Indian Institute of Management Kashipur, India

Background and rationale

Entrepreneurship plays an important role in society. Over the past couple of decades, entrepreneurship research from a psychological perspective has gained prominence in the multidisciplinary field of entrepreneurial performance. An emerging topic that has received relatively limited attention to date is how entrepreneurs’ characteristics, actions, and experiences potentially impact their stakeholders’ well-being and functioning, and additionally, how this relationship affects business performance outcomes. This is surprising, given that entrepreneurship is typically not done in a social vacuum and that social processes are at the core of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs have the potential to impact a broad range of stakeholders (Bort et al., 2020; Gorgievski & Stephan, 2016; Wiklund et al., 2019). In their proximal environment, entrepreneurs, as the ones responsible for building and managing their organizations, entrepreneurs are in the position to impact their employees’ performance and well-being by changing the nature of work, including employees’ job content and job characteristics. Entrepreneurs’ leadership behaviors can also impact employee outcomes, for example, through emotional contagion processes (Hubner et al., 2019; Laguna et al., 2020).  In addition, business and private spheres are inextricably intertwined. Family constitutes an important resource that can contribute to entrepreneurial success (e.g., Powell & Eddleston, 2017). On the other hand, work-to-family conflicts and facilitation may occur. Much has remained unknown regarding the work–family interface in the entrepreneurial context , given the specific characteristics of the entrepreneurial role or in the situation that family members are co-owners or employed at the firm (Miller et al., 2020; Nordstrom & Jennings, 2018). Finally, entrepreneurs interact with individuals in the broader environment. These include the companies’ direct value chain, such as close investors, suppliers, and customers, as well as more distant actors that are part of an entrepreneur’s broader ecosystem, such as regulatory agencies (Audretsch et al., 2018).

In sum, entrepreneurs’ social environments are a rich and intriguing field of investigation. With this special issue, we encourage scholars to investigate the interactions between entrepreneurs and their social environment from a multilevel and temporal perspective, such as cross-level interactions that shed light on contingencies and boundary conditions of certain relationships, or to research paths that may have differential effects in the short or the long term. This special issue uses a loose definition of entrepreneurs as an umbrella term for people who own and manage a business. For the specific contributions, authors are expected to specify their sample. The social environment may include entrepreneurs’ proximal environment, such as their employees, management teams, entrepreneurial team members, and individuals in entrepreneurs’ personal social sphere. It may also include entrepreneurs’ institutional environments, such as stakeholders, suppliers, customers, or financers. We encourage various submission types, including experiments, intervention studies, experience sampling study designs, experimental vignette studies, longitudinal studies, qualitative/mixed methodologies, systematic literature reviews, and conceptual papers.

Suggested themes and example questions include the following:

  • How do entrepreneurs’ attitudes towards human resource management or diversity beliefs and the way these translate into practices influence their employees’ quality of work, motivation, well-being, and performance?
  • How do the founders’ dispositional affect and positive and negative emotional states impact their employees’ performance and well-being?
  • How do the entrepreneurs’ decisions and actions, such as entrepreneurial goal disengagement or exit, portfolio entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurial orientation impact their employees’ well-being and cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes?
  • How do entrepreneurs’ attributes, such as entrepreneurial passion, values, commitment to the firm and charisma, influence the performance and relationship quality in entrepreneurial teams?
  • How do entrepreneurs’ skills and attributes interact with their co-owners’ skills and attributes to predict entrepreneurial team outcomes or entrepreneurial team formation?
  • Which attributes of entrepreneurs’ contexts, such as the societal or organizational culture and formal institutions, influence the interactions between entrepreneurs and their employees and/ or family members?
  • How do entrepreneurs’ boundary management styles influence work—home interference and relationship quality across different stages of the entrepreneurial process?
  • How do entrepreneurs’ positive (e.g., happiness, pride) and negative (e.g., envy, fear) affects and emotions impact the creation of an ecosystem of entrepreneurship?
  • How can entrepreneurs shape or influence characteristics of their ecosystems, such as the diversity, norms, expectations, and beliefs? 

Submission instructions

The deadline for submission of manuscripts is October 31, 2022. The journal submission site will be open for submissions from May 30, 2022. All manuscripts are expected to follow the Applied Psychology: An International Review submission guidelines and are subject to a double-blind academic review process. Please direct any questions regarding the Special Issue to the guest editors: Dr Marjan Gorgievski ([email protected]), Dr. Antje Schmitt ([email protected]), Dr Sílvia Costa ([email protected]) and Dr. Safal Batra ([email protected]). Interested authors are encouraged to submit a brief abstract of their intended submission for preliminary feedback about the potential fit with the special issue.


Audretsch, D., Mason, C., Miles, M. P., & O’Connor, A. (2018). The dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 30(3–4), 471–474.

Bort, J., Stephan, U., & Wiklund, J. (2020). The Well-being of Entrepreneurs and Their Stakeholders. In: Gielnik, M., Cardon, M. & Frese, M. (eds). The Psychology of Entrepreneurship (pp. 340-356). Routledge.

Gorgievski, M.J. & Stephan, U. (2016). Advancing the Psychology of Entrepreneurship: A review of the psychological literature and an introduction. Applied Psychology: an International Review, 65 (3), 437-468.

Hubner, S., Baum, M., & Frese, M. (2019). Contagion of entrepreneurial passion: Effects on employee outcomes. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 66 (6), 1112 – 1140.

Laguna, M.P., Mielniczuk, E. & Gorgievski, M.J. (2020). Business owner-employees contagion of work-related affect and employees’ innovative behavior in small firms. Applied Psychology (online first).

Miller, D., Wiklund, J., & Yu, W. (2020). Mental Health in the Family Business: A Conceptual Model and a Research Agenda. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 44(1), 55–80.

Nordstrom, O., & Jennings, J. E. (2018). Looking in the other direction: An ethnographic analysis of how family businesses can be operated to enhance familial well-being. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 42(2), 317–339.

Powell, G. N., & Eddleston, K. A. (2017). Family Involvement in the Firm, Family-to-Business Support, and Entrepreneurial Outcomes: An Exploration. Journal of Small Business Management, 55(4), 614–631.

Wiklund, J., Nikolaev, B., Shir, N., Foo, M.-D., & Bradley, S. (2019). Entrepreneurship and well-being: Past, present, and future. Journal of Business Venturing, 34 (4), 579-588.