Externalizing the Locus of Control: Religion and Entrepreneurship

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 publicationISBE 2021 Conference
ISBN (Electronic)9781900862332
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event44th Annual Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference 2021 - Cardiff City Hall , Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Oct 202129 Oct 2021
Conference number: 44


Conference44th Annual Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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