Identity and Resource Mobilization in New Ventures: A Model of Venture Identification
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This research adopts an identity perspective in examining the mobilization of resources for new ventures. The proposed conceptual model integrates organizational identity theory and individual identity theory to outline how the identity of an individual resource provider interacts with the identity of a new venture in the process of mobilizing resources for the venture. The concept of venture identification, which stems from the alignment of the entrepreneurial identity of a new venture and the individual identity of a resource provider, is offered as a key predictor of the allocation of resources to a new venture. I outline the cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying the process of venture identification, and describe how these mechanisms foster perceptions of venture attractiveness. I develop an instrument to measure entrepreneurial identity and apply it to examine whether identity alignment between a venture and resource provider is related to resource mobilization. The findings suggest that resource providers are more inclined to support new ventures that reflect an entrepreneurial identity similar to their individual identity. Under conditions of high uncertainty, the relationship between venture-resource provider identity matching and resource provider support for a new venture increases. This research contributes to the literature on organizational identity by providing a framework for classifying and analyzing entrepreneurial identity. By modeling resource mobilization as a two-sided matching process with identity as a connecting construct, it provides a more complete and nuanced view of the mechanisms that facilitate resource acquisition in entrepreneurship.