Today’s society is facing challenges such as disease, poverty and environmental degradation. Especially in 2020, the rampage of COVID-19 has caused serious harm to human society. The advancement of society requires not only entrepreneurs to take action to solve social problems, but also the motivation to do so. Thus, prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs has gradually become a hot topic in the field of entrepreneurship. Prior studies have highlighted the importance of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation and achieved certain results. However, there are few research results in the context of China, and there is also a lack of a systematic review of this topic, which is not conducive to further research. In this paper, we conduct a systematic review of related literature, including the definition, category, measurement, antecedents, and results of prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is not only to review the existent research, but also to attract the attention of scholars for entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation. To begin with, this paper illustrates the definition, category and measurement of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation. Specifically, prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs refers to entrepreneurs’ desire to work hard for the well-being of others during the entrepreneurial process, whose category includes altruism, empathy, compassion, etc. Researchers mainly use Grant’s mature scale or design their own measuring tools to measure entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation. Secondly, we summarize the influencing factors of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation including gender, previous social issues experience, mindfulness, etc. Then, this paper sums up the influencing results of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation. At the individual level, entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation makes a significant effect on entrepreneurs’ social entrepreneurial intentions, entrepreneurial opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial decision-making, subjective well-being, and personal growth of entrepreneurs. At the enterprise level, entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation can influence the establishment of a new enterprise, and once the enterprise established, it is conducive to the development and corporate social responsibility behaviors of the enterprise. In addition, with the deepening of research, scholars explain the mechanism between entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation and their influencing results from cognitive and affective processes and self-determination theory. Finally, we propose future research needs to further explore the following aspects: （1） The measurement and research methods of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation; （2） The influencing factors of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation; （3） The impact of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation and its mechanism; （4） The interaction between entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation and other related motivations; （5） The prosocial motivation and comparative analysis of different groups. In general, the prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs is an important research topic which is in the growing period. This paper reviews the existing researches on the prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs, focusing on the three major questions of “what is the prosocial motivation of entrepreneurs, what are the causes and effects, and what else should we pay attention to in the future”. By answering the above questions, we present a clear and complete research framework, which is helpful to deepen the understanding of entrepreneurs’ prosocial motivation, and provide inspiration for interdisciplinary entrepreneurship research and entrepreneurship practice.
Prosocial Motivation of Entrepreneurs: A Literature Review and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 42, Issue 10, pp. 91 - 106 (2020) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20200701.401
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Cite this article
Hu Wangbin, Peng Xiaoping, Peng Xiqiang, et al. Prosocial Motivation of Entrepreneurs: A Literature Review and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2020, 42(10): 91-106.