Identity work in different entrepreneurial settings : dominant interpretive repertoires and divergent striving agendas

Knox, Stephen and Casulli, Lucrezia and MacLaren, Andrew (2021) Identity work in different entrepreneurial settings : dominant interpretive repertoires and divergent striving agendas. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development. ISSN 0898-5626

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how entrepreneurs within different settings reflect on social interactions to work on their identity. Using life story narratives, we explore a business membership network and a creative hub in the central belt of Scotland. Our subsequent model shows how individuals in these settings use different dominant interpretive repertoires, as represented by structural-instrumental work in the business network and relational work in the creative hub. We also show how the interpretive repertoires both shape and are shaped by what individuals strive for in their identity work: striving for esteem and striving for closeness. We discuss how our findings offer insight into the dynamics of social identities and how they are reproduced and maintained through situated exchange using specific interpretive repertoires and striving agendas.