Authenticity and craft entrepreneurship: the interplay of passion and place

Hilary Downey, Maura McAdam*, Caren Crowley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Craft-based ventures draw on associations with tradition, place and quality to differentiate their products from mass-produced counterparts. However, ‘place’ in the context of craft entrepreneurship is both underexamined and undertheorized, with extant research predominantly focused on the positive impact of place. We argue that this perspective ignores the impact of place on craft entrepreneurs’ passion when place is not viewed as conducive to creative expression. Within this paper, we draw on affordance theory to extend understanding of how craft entrepreneurs’ passion is shaped by place, the impact on entrepreneurial behaviour and how that relationship may evolve over time. Our empirical data that are situated in Northern Ireland span 18 years and detail 13 longitudinal cases constructed through life history narrative accounts. Our findings validate the importance of the interaction between place and passion as a source of ideas and persistence and interestingly underscore that craft entrepreneurs may minimize signifiers of place to protect their passion. As a result of our adoption of affordance theory, our study demonstrates that the relationship to place can evolve and change over time, and as such, craft entrepreneurs draw on, conceal, accommodate and celebrate place and space, in their journeys as craft entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Early online date06 Feb 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 06 Feb 2024


  • affordance theory
  • Authenticity
  • craft entrepreneurs
  • craft-based ventures
  • passion
  • place

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Authenticity and craft entrepreneurship: the interplay of passion and place'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this