Social entrepreneurs narrating their careers: A psychodynamic-existential perspective

Hila Cohen, Hagai Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to improve our understanding of social entrepreneurs’ careers through narrative analysis of their life stories. Narratives are an important part of the study of career-related transitions, as they form, revise, and reconstruct identities, and drive agency. For this purpose, 24 in-depth semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted with Israeli social entrepreneurs. The findings point out a process which takes place in different spheres and moulds the life story of a social entrepreneur: the personality sphere; the family sphere, including family dynamics and significant childhood experiences; the social sphere, including formative events outside the family; and the moral sphere, which includes attitudes and ideologies. The entirety of spheres generates a consistent meta-narrative which promotes a theoretical integration between psychoanalytical and existential psychological theories and offers a deeper understanding of how and why people become social entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Career Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Social entrepreneurs
  • career development
  • existential theory
  • narrative identity
  • psychoanalytic theory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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