Beyond the lone hero: How interpersonal feedback seeking helps entrepreneurs to engage with their social environment

Andreana Drencheva, Ute Stephan, Malcolm Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Entrepreneurs are often depicted as lone heroes. However, they are encouraged to seek and use feedback from their social environment to refine their venture ideas and enhance performance. Surprisingly, systematic research on entrepreneurs’ feedback seeking is in its infancy, and this nascent research is marked by conceptual vagueness about the feedback-seeking process and the limitations of related concepts. This article leverages the rich research on feedback seeking from organizational behavior/applied psychology to explicate the nature of entrepreneurs’ interpersonal feedback seeking while considering the specific demands of entrepreneurship. We delineate feedback seeking from related concepts and theorize a process model of how entrepreneurs seek feedback to pursue instrumental, ego, symbolic, and relational goals, resulting in outcomes not only for entrepreneurs but also for their ventures and immediate and wider social environments. This article provides a foundation for research on entrepreneurs’ feedback seeking that is attentive to their personal goals and vulnerabilities while also considering the impact of this process on their social environment. Our conceptual model also offers new insights for organizational behavior/applied psychology research on feedback seeking in relation to the future of work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: An International Review
Early online date23 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2024


  • Entrepreneurs
  • interpersonal feedback seeking
  • Feedback
  • process model
  • proactivity


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