Why believe? The promise of research on the role of religion in entrepreneurial action

— by Brett Smith et al.

Please click here to read the academic article
from The Journal of Business Venturing Insights.


• Religion is a central topic in society but largely overlooked in entrepreneurship research.

• Boundary theory helps explain how the opportunity to integrate religion into the venture can affect the process of entrepreneurial action.

• Serious consideration of religion in entrepreneurship opens the door to new research questions related to identity, sensemaking, and boundary theories.


Religion is one of the most pervasive and central topics in society. However, its relative neglect by entrepreneurship research leads to an insufficient understanding of entrepreneurial action. To address this gap, we build on boundary theory and the psychology of religion to develop a sketch of the role of religion in entrepreneurial action, including its antecedents and outcomes. Finally, we suggest a number of theoretical perspectives (identity, sensemaking, and boundary) and research questions that may further advance research on religion and entrepreneurship.


[Special thanks to Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash for the cover photo]