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New Movements in Entrepreneurship

Edited by Chris Steyaert and Daniel Hjorth

At last, a book that focuses on trendsetting thinking and research in the field of entrepreneurship and sets an agenda for current and future movements in the field.
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Chapter 6: A project-based view of entrepreneurship: towards action-orientation, seriality and collectivity

Monica Lindgren and Johann Packendorff


Steyaert 02 chap 5 9/5/03 15:37 Page 86 6. A project-based view of entrepreneurship: towards actionorientation, seriality and collectivity1 Monica Lindgren and Johann Packendorff WHY A PROJECT-BASED VIEW OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP? Entrepreneurship, as we know it, materializes in an entrepreneurial act. It is the act in itself – an act characterized by a creative and influential step outside existing practices – that makes the acting individual an entrepreneur (Schumpeter, 1949). In other words, acts are ‘entrepreneurial’ because of their novelties in relation to a social context, not because they are performed by individuals sharing certain psychological traits (Shapero and Sokol, 1982; Gartner, 1989). This also means that the entrepreneurial act cannot be fully explained by reference to the individual agent, since different social contexts constitute entirely different environments for entrepreneurship (see e.g. Trulsson, 1997). From this characterization it follows that entrepreneurial acts pervade societies, economies, organizations and individual lives. Innovative policies are created, new firms are started, organizations created and reorganized and individuals change the direction of their careers and private lives. Behind all such entrepreneurial acts there are also entrepreneurs: creative politicians, innovative businesspeople, enduring managers and courageous citizens. They may not spend their entire lives, not even substantial parts of it, performing entrepreneurial acts, but they all have something to say that enhances our understanding of entrepreneurship. The tendency of entrepreneurship research to focus empirical inquiry on enterprise start-ups (often in traditional male industries) means that a lot of entrepreneurial acts are never considered as a basis of knowledge on...

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