Research seminar Prof. Julie HERMANS


May 31, 2018




Socrate 20

Title: Early growth in collective sustainable ventures: insights from regulatory focus theory

Venue: Socrate 20


We mobilize regulatory focus theory from social psychology to explore growing pains inside a young sustainable cooperative. Through an in-depth case study, we look at team regulatory focus as an emergent state and highlight factors that contribute to its dynamism throughout the cooperative’s early growth. By considering the hierarchical model of regulation that distinguishes between the system (ideal vs. ought goals), strategic (eager vs. vigilant strategy), and tactical (risky vs. conservative tactics) levels, we show that the combination of foci is achieved at the tactical level, once team members have reached a shared understanding at the strategic level. We also argue that changes at the strategic level can trigger changes at the system level, pressuring ideal goals that were previously shared.

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