Understanding entrepreneurial deviance through social learning and entrepreneurial action theory: an empirical study
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Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine entrepreneurial deviance from the perspective of New Zealand's commercial honey producers. The study adopts entrepreneurial action and social learning theories and proposes a theoretical framework in the context of entrepreneurial deviance. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected through online surveys from 52 professional beekeepers. Findings: Overstocking of beehives, encroachment, biosecurity threats and unfair competition were most common forms of deviance affecting participants. While these predominantly responded through investing in disease prevention, security equipment or by reporting deviant incidents, finding proper solutions remains elusive. The findings revealed robust alignments with both theories. Overall, offenders’ perceived incentives to act illustrate alignment with social learning theory’s four key constructs. Entrepreneurial action emerged through individual perpetrators’ evaluation and subsequent maximisation of potentially lucrative opportunities. Originality/value: The study addresses an important and under-researched dimension, notably, the negative or “dark” side of entrepreneurs, in this case, illustrated through greed and disregard for fair and proper ways of conducting business. This knowledge gap is even more obvious among small and medium business, which is also the focus of the research.
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