1 Department of Management, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Centre for Organizational Renewal and Evolution (CORE), Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
A Poststructuralist Approach to Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneurship literature has seen a great number of articles trying to put an end to the foundational debates on entrepreneurship, such as 'what is entrepreneurship?' by proposing 'a new and final concept of entrepreneurship that will finally allow us to start doing real research', i.e. ending playtime. Low and MacMillan's (1988) early article as well as Shane and Venkataraman's seminal piece spring to mind as highly influential examples of this. In this paper the stated mission of 'ending playtime' is investigated from a poststructuralist perspective. Applying a deconstructionist reading to Shane and Venkataraman's article 'The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research', this paper argues for a continued playtime, invoking more variation in research strategies and methods in studying the illusive concept of entrepreneurship. If entrepreneurship research is to 'keep up' with entrepreneurial practice, it must remain constantly open to new opportunities and ways of seeing the world. The idea of a continued playtime is further elaborated using two poststructuralist concepts namely nomadic science and messy methods. On the basis of the deconstructive reading and a discussion of nomadic science and messy methods, the author proposes a reinterpretation of the opportunity theory. Such a reinterpretation would need to take into account that objects, including opportunities, markets, firms, projects and individuals are neither definite nor singular. Instead, a poststructuralist approach would expect opportunities to be fluid, to shift and turn through various sites and enactments.
Icsb 2007 Conference Proceedings, 2007, p. 1-19
Entrepreneurship; Poststructuralism; Deconstruction; Opportunity Theory