Externalising the Locus of Control: Religion and Entrepreneurship

Shannon Harris, Niall MacKenzie, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study explores the influence of external control orientations on entrepreneurial behaviour. Entrepreneurs are thought to be headstrong individuals with internal control beliefs, seeking to control as much of their environment as possible. This illusion helps minimise their perceptions of risk, increasing their entrepreneurial intentions. However, this characterisation of the entrepreneur fails to consider those with exogenous control beliefs, such as religious entrepreneurs. By exploring the opportunity evaluation of Evangelical Christian entrepreneurs, this study demonstrates how and why individuals might be willing to cede control to an exogenous system and the impact this has on their risk perceptions. Based on these findings, a more nuanced understanding of entrepreneurs’ control orientations is required to provide a representative characterisation of entrepreneurs, making it easier to consider the influence of market forces and social institutions on entrepreneurial behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventRENT XXXV: Inclusive Entrepreneurship - University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Duration: 18 Nov 202119 Nov 2021
Conference number: 35


ConferenceRENT XXXV
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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