Entrepreneurial resilience in turbulent environments: the role of spiritual capital




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


Edward Elgar Publishing


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



Increasingly, businesses in the 21st century have to grapple with the challenges of operating in turbulent environments characterised by market volatility, political instability, and terrorism. These challenges are relevant to developing countries, where institutional weaknesses exacerbate environmental turbulence; and developed countries, where, for example in the UK, businesses are grappling with the uncertainties of BREXIT. In order to survive and compete, firms mobilise external resources and develop new strategies. For instance, scholars have observed that social capital in the form of cooperative alliances enables rival firms to combine resources, share costs, achieve economies of scale, and mitigate risk and uncertainty in innovation. Recently, a new interest has emerged in the role of spiritual capital—that is, the set of personal, intangible, and transcendent resources that emanate from an individual's spiritual or religious beliefs and experiences and may be used in economic activity. Spiritual capital is especially relevant in developing countries including those in sub-Saharan Africa where there are greater institutional voids, and religion and spirituality play a dominant role in society. While recent studies have drawn attention to the impact of spiritual capital on firm level innovation and performance as well as corporate governance practices, this paper proposes a conceptual framework that interrogates and integrates the relationships between spiritual capital, environmental turbulence, entrepreneurial resilience and firm survival. Finally, we test this theoretical model in an empirical study of 306 randomly selected SMEs in Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economies and an archetypical context for addressing key questions of resilience and environmental turbulence. The results of the hierarchical regression model indicate that faith beliefs have significant impact on entrepreneurial resilience, but prayer and worship do not.


The project was funded by the BAL Faculty Seed Corn 2018/2019.


Spiritual capital, Turbulence, Institutional voids, Entrepreneurial resilience, Social capital


Kolade O., Egbetokun A., Rae, D., and Hussain G. (2019) Entrepreneurial resilience in turbulent environment: the role of spiritual capital. In: Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies: a Contextualised Approach. Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Institute for Applied Economics and Social Value (IAESV)