Religious Institutions and Entrepreneurship Among Marginalized Groups
Brigham Young University
The phenomenon of entrepreneurship has become increasingly important to civic and private leaders all over the world. In response to calls by scholars to develop theory on entrepreneurship by conducting systematic analyses of how specific institutions shape the entrepreneurial process, the current study explores how Muslim and Mormon religious institutions shape entrepreneurship for their adherents. Through observation and in-depth interviews with Muslim and Mormon entrepreneurs, the study found that religious institutions from both faiths shaped several important entrepreneurial phenomena: decision making, confidence and support, opportunity creation, and opportunity recognition, as well as management and other entrepreneurial skills. The study shows the contribution of institutional theory to understanding entrepreneurship, and proposes several contributions to theory on entrepreneurship. First, the study contributes to theory on the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship by proposing additional theoretical logic for the relationship. Second, the study contributes to understanding why certain individuals are able to bypass the shame inherent in the social deviance that can accompany entrepreneurship by proposing the concept of extra-social legitimacy.