A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship and Context

A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship and Context

Elgar Research Agendas

Edited by Friederike Welter and William B. Gartner

There is growing recognition that entrepreneurship can be better understood within its context(s). This carefully designed book invites readers to take a journey: from reflecting critically on where the discussion on context and entrepreneurship stands today towards identifying future research questions and themes that deserve the attention of entrepreneurship scholars. This collection draws attention to the research challenges the entrepreneurship field faces by reviewing the many facets of contexts and by reflecting on methods and theoretical approaches that are required in order to contextualize entrepreneurship research. Students and academics interested in context and entrepreneurship will benefit from this far-reaching and forward-thinking book.

Chapter 3: ‘After’ context

Chris Steyaert

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


The pleas in favour of contextualized approaches of entrepreneurship come at a moment when the concept of context has elsewhere been heavily problematized, and when it is even suggested to discard the notion all together. In this chapter, I turn to some of these critical remarks to ask the question whether we can still ‘hide’ behind context in entrepreneurship studies and what happens when we go ‘after’ context. In the agenda-setting that this chapter tries to perform, I propose three affirmations that might ‘redirect’ the use of (and the discussions around) context in entrepreneurship studies. First, the notion of ‘con-text’ could not be more self-explanatory: as ‘everything that comes with a text’, contextual analysis makes sense if we consider textual (and other) practices as the main units of analysis. Second, we should refrain from a contextualization ‘light’, as it cannot be done without also considering the paradigmatic infrastructure that comes with it. Third, to avoid that context becomes a (static) place-holder, context should not stop the description of an entanglement but actually support its realization.

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