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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1659 - Self-enhancement or Self-transcendence? Enriching Baumol’s Concept of Productive Entrepreneurship Using the Biblical Narrative

IRE Vol 19: Issue 3, 2021, Pages 373-386

Author(s): Cornelius A. Rietveld (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Cornelis van der Kooi (VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Henri Slob (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Policy makers and entrepreneurs increasingly use storytelling to nurture cultures inside and outside organizations. In this article, we explore how the biblical narrative in which God is characterized by a lasting entrepreneurial commitment to achieve “win-win” situations may inspire commercial entrepreneurs to take actions in which they transcend their own utility maximization in order to let other stakeholders (e.g., their employees) flourish. We argue that such self-transcendence, in contrast to self-enhancement, is an important but overlooked element of productive entrepreneurship. As such, by drawing on the biblical narrative, we enrich Baumol’s seminal conceptualization of productive entrepreneurship. We explore and illustrate the ecological validity of self-transcendence in commercial organizations using two case studies. The case studies underscore the power of narratives, and illustrate the potentiality of entrepreneurial self-transcendence in commercial organizations and its possible consequences.