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Navigating interpersonal feedback seeking in social venturing: The roles of psychological distance and sensemaking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Andreana Drencheva, Ute Stephan, Malcolm G. Patterson, Anna Topakas

Original languageEnglish
Article number106123
Issue number4
Accepted/In press14 Mar 2021
PublishedJul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We thank Editor Oana Branzei and the reviewers for their constructive comments and guidance through the revision process. We are grateful to Sally Maitlis for friendly feedback on this manuscript. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim, USA and the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference in Bod?, Norway. We thank the participants at these conferences for their helpful feedback. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Inc. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


King's Authors


This study advances understanding of interpersonal feedback seeking as a relational micro-foundational process whereby social entrepreneurs proactively involve others in venturing and engage in sensemaking when this fails. Our inductive analysis of 82 interviews with 36 social entrepreneurs reveals the agency in and the plurality and precariousness of feedback seeking by identifying three distinct feedback-seeking trajectories. Feedback seeking is an identity-driven process whereby how and why social entrepreneurs seek feedback depends on their psychological closeness to the targeted social issue. Our study elucidates the relationship between identity and feedback processes and uncovers psychological distance from the social issue as a new construct in social venturing.

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