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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 4: Practising enactive research – constructing and contrasting tales of entrepreneuring

Bengt Johannisson


The scholar or entresearcher’s ability to practise enactive research is conditioned by her/his commitment to entrepreneuring, as a field of study as well as a practice. The entresearcher has to be familiar with both the general domain and the concrete setting of the enacted venture. Two such ventures, each covering about a one-year enactment process, are reported as chronological realist tales as well as kairotic impressionistic tales presented as vignettes. The latter are structured into ‘circumstances’, ‘predicaments’ and ‘interventions’ according to what control the entresearcher had over their emergence. Both ventures aimed at stimulating local or regional development with the university as a major contributor. The first venture, enacted in 1999, focused on the role of culture, while the second one, enacted in 2014, aimed at adding a social dimension to regional development. A systematic comparative analysis of the two entrepreneurial events is applied to expand the scope of both the methodology and the findings.

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