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Disclosing Entrepreneurship as Practice

The Enactive Approach

Bengt Johannisson

Some contemporary practice theories are not well suited to studying entrepreneurship as ongoing creative organizing. In order to catch the emergence of entrepreneurship, the scholar has to adopt a dwelling mode and immerse themselves into the concrete doings, the practices, of ‘entrepreneuring’, thus amalgamating the researcher and entrepreneur identities. Enactive research thus means that the scholar enacts a real-life venture and uses auto-ethnographic methods to organize the insights being gained. Two enacted, year long, projects, are reported in detail and the methods used and the findings from the research are reported in this thought-provoking book.
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Chapter 2: From process philosophy to practice theory – building and furnishing a paradigmatic platform

Bengt Johannisson

Extract

Process philosophy, pragmatism and existentialism supplement social constructionism as the foundations of enactive research. Associated methodology cannot content itself with considering the researcher as a passive instrument in the knowledge-creation process aiming at theorizing entrepreneuring. Instead it is argued that the interests, competences and authentic involvement of the scholar in the enactment of a venture decide the quality of the research. These capabilities are mobilized in order to identify the formative dispositions of the entrepreneur that bring out the embodied knowing needed to enact the venture and its environment. Their interface is creatively organized and resourced by the entrepreneur’s personal network. Positioning a proposed image of entrepreneurship as practice against the general Schatzkian framework as well as approaches in organization theory, entrepreneurial practices stand out as dealing with incessantly produced internal and external ‘situations’. Agency is then ascribed to the dialogue between the situation at hand and human conduct.

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