Entrepreneurial narratives for resource acquisition in the Italian creative industries. A qualitative study

Purpose of the paper: This paper explores how narratives help creative Italian entrepreneurs attract resources.

Methodology: Through the integration of the current literature on entrepreneurial narratives and resource acquisition with a case study (Project Officina Creativa), we have developed five arguments about the use of storytelling, impression management and social networking by an Italian creative entrepreneur.

Findings: Officina Creativa conveys narrative strategies through oral stories told by entrepreneurs (by means of direct relationships) and a few basic written texts (websites and presentations). Social networking strategies and storytelling are the most used narratives. Storytelling potentialities, especially those concerning future scenarios and developments, are not fully exploited. Impression management is also fairly neglected by Officina Creativa and is based on the partial communication of technical competences. As a result, informative signals addressed to resource holders are quite limited.

Research limits: The paper adopts a qualitative research approach and it is the first step of a large-sample research project which will combine qualitative and quantitative data.

Practical implications: The study develops propositions about which narrative strategies can be successful for an entrepreneur in the creative fashion business. In the meantime, the paper underlines which narrative strategies are under-exploited and could be effectively applied to Italian entrepreneurial experiences.

Originality of the paper: The study is the first attempt to understand how entrepreneurial narrative strategies are successfully implemented in the creative Italian industry.