New Research: Alternative Tactics for Increasing the Adoption of New Entrepreneurial Practices in Contexts of Poverty
TORONTO – Thursday, October 5, 2023 – Providing entrepreneurship training programs to individuals living in poverty has been a growing trend worldwide over the past two decades; unfortunately with limited success in terms. However new research from York University’s Schulich School of Business suggests that how you frame new entrepreneurial practices can significantly impact the extent to which they are ultimately adopted by trainees.
The findings are contained in a recently published article in the Journal of Business Venturing titled, “Exploring the relative efficacy of ‘within-logic contrasting’ and ‘cross-logic analogizing’ framing tactics for adopting new entrepreneurial practices in contexts of poverty”. The article was co-written by Geoffrey M. Kistruck, Professor and RBC Chair in Social Innovation & Impact at Schulich, together with Charlene Zietsma, the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability; Angelique Slade Shantz, an Assistant Professor of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management at the University of Alberta; and Luciano Barin Cruz, Director of Sustainability Transition at HEC Montréal.
The researchers conducted a mixed-methods field experiment in rural Sri Lanka with an entrepreneurship education and training partner involving 683 entrepreneurs. They used two framing tactics for introducing new entrepreneurial practices. The first framing tactic – “within-logic contrasting” – is the dominant framing approach used currently, and is focused on distinguishing the behavior of unsuccessful entrepreneurs with highly successful entrepreneurs or ‘role models’ who used the newly prescribed entrepreneurial practices. The second framing tactic – “cross-logic analogizing” – was an alternative designed by the researchers, and focused on likening the newly prescribed entrepreneurial practices to activities that individuals routinely engage in within the non-business domains of their lives – everything from new cooking recipes to trying different ways to better protect their children from mosquitos. Ultimately, the researchers found that cross-logic analogizing was more efficacious in terms of both a change in entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial behavior.
“Our research findings contribute to entrepreneurship theory and practice by helping to explain and predict why and when alternative framing tactics can significantly impact the success or failure of entrepreneurship education and training programs in impoverished regions,” says Kistruck. “Individuals living in poverty are often forced to rely heavily on routines and heuristics in order to survive. Entrepreneurship training efforts that essentially ‘borrow’ from existing logics rather than require the ‘building’ of new logics have a much better chance of ultimately being adopted in such contexts.”
Geoffrey Kistruck is available for interviews about this research.