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International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM

International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM

Elgar original reference

Edited by Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson

This invaluable reference tool has been designed in response to the growing recognition that too little is known about the intersection between entrepreneurship and human resource management. Paying particular attention to the ‘people’ side of venture emergence and development, it offers unique insights into the role that human resource management (HRM) plays in small and entrepreneurial firms.

Chapter 23: The Maturation of Entrepreneurial Careers

David M. Kaplan and Jerome A. Katz

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, human resource management


David M. Kaplan and Jerome A. Katz Introduction Career theory tends to focus on white-collar workers in established organizations (Thomas, 1996). As a result, there is not a strong theoretical underpinning for the careers of entrepreneurs (Dyer, 1994; Katz, 1994; Rae, 2005). Even recent theoretical advances such as the protean (Hall, 1996), boundaryless (Arthur and Rousseau, 1996; DeFillipi and Arthur, 1994) and emergent (Bloch, 2005) careers, which focus on personal empowerment and direction, still conceptualize the individual as an employee. And while employees within an organization can operate entrepreneurially (Dess et al., 2003), they are not technically entrepreneurs in the sense that they do not create organizations (Gartner, 1988). Consequently, there is a need to adapt or develop new theories to accommodate those individuals who start their careers outside existing organizational structures and constraints. While entrepreneurs may begin their careers outside established organizations, they are not free of organizational influences. The emerging organizations that entrepreneurs create will exert an influence on the individual’s career development in a way that the organization does not influence traditional careers. Because an entrepreneur is the founder of the organization he or she will tend to have greater levels of accountability and responsibility than non-entrepreneurial counterparts with the same level of career experience. From the beginning the success or failure of the enterprise is in the hands of the entrepreneur, which is very different from what most people experience in the first week of their job. This represents just one example...

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