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Entrepreneuring: a question of space and place. Unfolding entrepreneurship

Research Cluster

Speaker:Anette Hallin and Karin Berglund, Karin - PhD and Assistant Professor in Innovation Technology at Malardalen University, Anette - M.Ed and PhD.; Researcher and Lecturer at the Dept. Of Industrial Economics and Management at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Date: Wednesday 25 May 2011
Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Bateman Lecture Theatre, Building 1, Streatham Campus

Further details

Despite that entrepreneurship is seen as a growing interdisciplinary field, it is not a research field that has been influenced by a multitude of research paradigms (Jennings, Perren and Carter, 2005). On the contrary, much of entrepreneurship theory seems to be based upon functionalistic paradigm (Grant & Perren, 2002; Howorth, 2005), which limits our understanding of that which we call entrepreneurship (Steyaert and Katz, 2004, Violina et al. 2009, Gartner, 1993). Despite attempts, for example from Gartner (1993) and Hjort & Steayert (2004), to problematize “entrepreneurship”, much of research within the field has been, and still is, about filling knowledge-gaps, rather than about problematizing the basic concepts (cf Sandberg & Alvesson, 2011).

In order to meet the need for a different perspective it has been proposed that entrepreneurship be viewed as a process; that the focus be shifted from ‘entrepreneurship’ (the noun) to ‘entrepreneuring’ (the verb). (Berglund & Holmgren, 2008; Steyaert, 2007). This paper aims at contributing to the development of ‘entrepreneuring’. It does so through a comparative case study of two entrepreneurial processes both of which have been studied longitudinally, mainly through an ethnographic approach that fits well with a process ontology-perspective. The paper argues that while entrepreneurship expresses a linear, functionalistic view of the entrepreneur; the idea and the setting up of an organization to realize the idea; excluding other ways of “doing entrepreneurship”, entrepreneuring is about polyphony, symbolism and the creation of spaces and places through various materializations. Hence, when applying the entrepreneuring perspective it is the constant formations and new combinations of expressed stories that make entrepreneurial worlds possible. This is the creative practice of entrepreneurship. In addition, there is a need for the integration of stories; for creating connections and managing tensions, according to management practices. Both kinds of practices create entrepreneurial spaces, making entrepreneuring happen in particular places through materializations. We argue that it is the simultaneous presence of both practices that make up entrepreneuring.