Developing a Co-constructed Autoethnographic Approach to Understand Personal Values-Guided Social Entrepreneurship

Scott Lichtenstein, Paul Fenn, Sally Kah

    Research output: Working paper


    This research aims to uncover how the personal values of a social enterprise CEO (Paul) influence strategic leadership and choices. We adopt the upper-echelon theory by Hambrick and Mason (1984) of bounded rationality to provide insights into the lived experience of an executive social entrepreneur - how personal values influence the establishment of Local Power and subsequent strategic decisions. To achieve this, we followed Kempster and Stewart's (2010) co-produced auto-ethnography approach, described as two parts of a sandwich: the ‘bread’ as the interpreted observations and the filling as the reflections on the experience. The 'meat' of Paul's auto-ethnographic sandwich reflected significant episodes from 1995 to 2022 when he developed Local Power, California C Corp CEO and LLC President. From a theoretical perspective, this research contributes to creative opportunity recognition and the coupling of personal values that influence strategic leadership and choices in social entrepreneurship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationWorking paper series
    PublisherCentre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 13 Sept 2023


    • Strategic leadership
    • personal values
    • social entrepreneur
    • USA


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