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'Entrepreneuring' as a conceptual attractor? A review of process theories in 20 years of entrepreneurship studies

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Entrepreneuring has never achieved a breakthrough as the key concept that could elucidate the inherently process-oriented character of entrepreneurship, but it may be able to serve as the conceptual attractor to accommodate the increasing interest in process theories within a creative process view. This paper considers whether this is possible. In addition to equilibrium-based understandings of the entrepreneurial process, this paper tentatively reconstructs the creative process view by distinguishing between a range of relevant perspectives: from those on complexity and chaos theory, to the interpretive and phenomenological, social constructionist, pragmatic and practice-based, to the relational materialist. Taking entrepreneuring as an open-ended concept to use in theoretical experimentation, the review documents the potential for the concept to develop new meanings and to attach itself to a series of concepts such as recursivity, enactment, disclosure, narration, discourse, dramatization, dialogicality, effectuation, social practice, translation and assemblage. It is argued that the very act of theorizing about the concept of 'entrepreneuring' indicates a move from methodological individualism to a relational turn in entrepreneurship studies, one that inscribes entrepreneurship into a social ontology of becoming.
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Keywords: becoming; creative process view; entrepreneuring; process theory; social theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research Department for Organizational Psychology, University of St Gallen, 9000 St Gallen, Switzerland

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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