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Logic matters: A meta-theoretical analysis of the entrepreneur
University of Southampton, UK;Babson College, USA;University of Texas at Dallas, USA.
2018 (English)In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings / [ed] Guclu Atinc, Academy of Management , 2018, Vol. 1, article id 18011Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper responds to calls for aligning our investigations with a fundamental concern for truth and objectivity through a meta-theoretical analysis of “the question of the entrepreneur”, viz., what explains the empirical puzzle that it is only some and not others to act entrepreneurially under similar conditions. While many entrepreneurship scholars search for the unique constitution of entrepreneurs, a growing contingent of scholars attributes this research enterprise to non-rational factors, such as ideological motives. Our analysis demonstrates that both approaches are logically unwarranted and emerge out of an unreflective engagement with the core puzzle. The mainstream view that entrepreneurs are fundamentally different from non-entrepreneurs emerges as an unreflective solution of the puzzle. Meta-theoretical reflexivity suggests that we already have a more plausible explanation: it is not anyone to exercise a widely held potential because prior to their successful exploitation opportunities are not seen uniformly as real opportunities. We do not need to find some well-hiding “entrepreneurial gene” in order to solve the puzzle; rather, we need to understand how we tend to lose sight of rather commonsensical insights in moments of academic abstraction. Having criticized the puzzle-solving process of mainstream research, we also criticize anti-mainstream critiques for failing to engage constructively with the empirical puzzle. We underscore that valid critiques require that we first engage thoroughly with the reasoning processes underlying a research practice, instead of being dogmatically dismissive – let alone accuse scholarly communities for being ideologically motivated. This study carries a further message of interest to the broader management studies community: closer attention to seemingly “trivial” logical subtleties reveals that we may need novel discoveries less often than we conventionally presume.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academy of Management , 2018. Vol. 1, article id 18011
Series
Academy of Management. Annual Meeting Proceedings, ISSN 0065-0668, E-ISSN 2151-6561
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ledarskap, entreprenörskap och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82285DOI: 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.18011abstractOAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-82285DiVA, id: diva2:1307432
Conference
the Academy of Management Meeting, Chicago, August 10-14, 2018.
Available from: 2019-04-26 Created: 2019-04-26 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Gartner, William B.

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
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