Too emotional to succeed: entrepreneurial narratives in a prosocial setting

Asma Naimi, Daniel Arenas, Jill Kickul, Sahar Awan

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the effectiveness of cognitive and emotional appeals to mobilize resources in prosocial crowdfunding settings that combine the creation of economic and social value. Design/methodology/approach: The authors quantitatively measure the effectiveness of cognitive and emotional appeals in the entrepreneurial narratives of 2,098 entrepreneurs from 55 countries shared via the Kiva platform by performing multiple regression analysis. Findings: The findings suggest that using cognitive appeals can attract more resources than using emotional appeals. In fact, using affective language in general, and negative emotion words specifically, can be detrimental and attract fewer resources. Originality/value: The authors contribute to the entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship literature by linking insights from the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion and motivational framing to understand resource mobilization in prosocial settings. This study demonstrates that cognitive and emotional appeals could lead to different outcomes in contexts where entrepreneurial narratives are all framed as “doing good” and individuals allocating resources are highly socially motivated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • ELM
  • Emotions
  • Entrepreneurial narratives
  • Prosocial
  • Resource mobilization


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