Keep dreaming: how personality traits affects the recognition and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities in the agritourism industry

Simona Leonelli, Lea Iaia, Francesca Masciarelli, Demetris Vrontis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper analyses how entrepreneurs recognise and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities following a sustainable approach that respects the equilibrium among environmental, social and commercial purposes, and how their personality affects this process. The main personality traits focused in this study are narcissism, locus of control and sustainability orientation. Design/methodology/approach: This single case study involves Essentia Dimora Rurale, a small agritourism business, located in Molise (Italy), characterised by a sustainable business model that generates value for the local environment, thus revitalising abandoned territories. Data are collected using qualitative and quantitative methods and are analysed using the Gioia methodology. Findings: The Essentia Dimora Rurale's approach is rooted in the concept of sustainability and the development of tourism in the territory. The preservation of traditional values and the creation of a network allow the firm to prosper and survive. The personalities of the two sibling entrepreneurs fuel the process, and the authors show that each personality trait plays a different role in each phase of the firm's growth. Research limitations/implications: From a theoretical point of view, the study contributes to entrepreneurial, sustainability and personality literature. However, using a single case study can represent a limit for the research. Practical implications: Various practical implications are recognised concerning several stakeholders, such as the owners and the entities linked to the regional promotion and tourism sectors. Originality/value: The novelty of the research relies on the importance of entrepreneur opportunity identification, particularly in sustainable firms. Moreover, the authors fill the literature gap investigating the impact of three personality traits in this process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Food Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Agritourism
  • Locus of control
  • Narcissism
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability orientation
  • Territory


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