Externalizing the Locus of Control: Entrepreneurship and Religion

Shannon Harris, Niall MacKenzie, Colin Mason

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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
Title of host publicationBAM Conference 2021
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
ISBN (Electronic)9780995641341
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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