Fr-OR-S97-4 - Advancing Our Understanding Of Entrepreneurship Through Process Theory And Pragmatism

Self-employment and Entrepreneurship
Oral Presentation
Part of:
Friday May 19   03:45 PM to 04:00 PM (15 minutes)
Entrepreneurship/Self employment
Self-employment and Entrepreneurship
Advancing our understanding of entrepreneurship through process theory and pragmatism
J. Jordan*
Content: PURPOSE. This paper responds to Sarasvathy & Venkaraman’s (2011) call for detailed studies of how ‘entrepreneurs transform bits and pieces of current realities into valuable opportunities through productive interaction with others” (p. 126).
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY.  The study uses process theory and a pragmatic lens to reconstruct the timeline of two microenterprises in the United Kingdom.  Specifically, the studies explore how often the business changed and what prompted those changes.
RESULTS.  Both entrepreneurs presented their business almost in chapters and the changing form of their business was retrospectively very visible.  Both changed often yet irregularly but at different rates; one about every six months and the other about once a year.  A further RQ about whether people prompted changes resonated with neither informant.  Inspection of the detailed case studies and revisiting the first principles of pragmatism suggest that interactions with others do not trigger change.  Rather those interactions are filtered through the entrepreneur’s models of action that may be more sophisticated than we think. 
RESEARCH/PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS.  If it is indeed the case that events in the entrepreneur’s environment are filtered through the entrepreneur’s action models, then the challenge is to research those models and to pace support to match the development of those models. 
ORIGINALITY/VALUE.  These case studies close an astonishing gap in the literature and present an almost paradoxical effect where attention to the context of entrepreneurial decision-making re-asserts entrepreneurial decision-making by relegating context to the background and bringing the growing understanding of the business by the entrepreneur to the foreground.
Open University Business School

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