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The Deterioration of Self-Worth in Entrepreneurship

Muñoz-Roman, Pablo; Braun, Susanne; Chowdhury, Farzana; Barton, Marieshka; Jayne-Little, Nicola; Komes, Jessica; Rowland, Joanne; Sykes, Katherine; Smith, Jason; Talbot-Jones, Clare; Taggart, Adele

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Marieshka Barton

Nicola Jayne-Little

Jessica Komes

Joanne Rowland

Katherine Sykes

Jason Smith

Adele Taggart


This paper explores the deterioration of self-worth in entrepreneurship. Using a 15-month participatory action research in the North of England, we found mismatches between expectations and experiences at three interacting levels—purpose, autonomy, and
achievement—which surface as entrepreneurs reflect on execution, performance, and fulfillment experiences. Mismatches materialize as incongruence between the ideal states under pursuit and the actual experiences, which compound leading to a diminished sense of
control, direction, and worthiness, which in turn further fuels a cycle of negative emotions, involving anxiety, isolation, shame, and guilt. We discuss implications for entrepreneurs’ mental health.


Muñoz-Roman, P., Braun, S., Chowdhury, F., Barton, M., Jayne-Little, N., Komes, J., …Taggart, A. (2023). The Deterioration of Self-Worth in Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 20, Article e00430.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2023
Publication Date 2023-11
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Oct 10, 2023
Journal Journal of Business Venturing Insights
Print ISSN 2352-6734
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Article Number e00430
Public URL


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