Victim entrepreneurs doing well by doing good: Venture creation and well-being in the aftermath of a resource shock

Trenton A. Williams, Dean A. Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Venture creation generates value in a variety of forms both for the entrepreneur him or her-self and the venture's stakeholders. Recent research explores entrepreneurial action as a vehicle for personal transformation and development for the individual, especially as it pertains to overcoming adversity. We build on this emerging literature by exploring victims creating new ventures in the aftermath of a disaster event, where widespread adversity threatens entire communities. Following the disaster, some victim resources are destroyed (e.g., property) while others remain (e.g., human capital) at varying levels. We build on organizational emergence and conservation of resources theories and use structural equation modeling to test a victim entrepreneur model of functioning through the creation of ventures to alleviate others' suffering. We find that venture creation mediates the positive relationship between human capital and functioning and that for those who do not create ventures, human capital is negatively related to functioning-highlighting the important role of venture creation for the victim-actor following a disaster event. Implications of these findings for literature on venture creation and responses to adversity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-387
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Compassion
  • Conservation of resources theory
  • Resilience
  • Resourceful response to adversity
  • Venture creation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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