Edited by Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson
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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