“Temporal Emotions and Stakeholder Enrollment: How Rhetorical History Enables Resource Acquisition”
(Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Canada)
Stakeholder enrollment is a critical variable in explaining entrepreneurial success. Prior research has pointed to the importance of the narrative capabilities of entrepreneurs in successfully creating a psychological bond between potential stakeholders and an entrepreneurial project. Psychological bonds are most effective when they create an emotional connection between a stakeholder and a project. We extend this research with the observation that different types of psychological bonds between stakeholders and projects emerge when the entrepreneurial narrative draws on temporal emotions that emphasize positive and negative aspects of the past or the future. We identify and elaborate four temporal emotions that drive stakeholder enrollment – nostalgia, postalgia, dystopia and dystoria. We demonstrate how each of these temporal emotions generate four distinct categories of stakeholder engagement – commitment, identification, acquiescence and instrumentality. Finally, we show how different combinations of temporal emotions generate powerful historical narratives that stimulate stakeholder enrolment by evoking collectively held myths constructed around four deeply held societal values – Progress, Renewal, Entropy and Disaster. We demonstrate how each historical narrative corresponds to different types of entrepreneurial projects.