How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs
Chapter 7: A Conceptual Model of Entrepreneurial Experiencing
* To “learn from experience” is to make a backward and forward connection between what we do to things and what we enjoy or suffer from things in consequence. Under such conditions, doing becomes a trying; an experiment with the world to find out what it is like; the undergoing becomes instruction – discovery of the connection of things. (John Dewey, 1916) INTRODUCTION Experiencing represents the essence of entrepreneurship. It is difficult, if not impossible, to grasp the reality of venture creation, particularly at a micro-level, without considering how the disjointed series of novel events encountered along the entrepreneurial path are received by and reacted to by the founder of a venture. Stated differently, it is not enough to simply describe venture creation as stressful or ambiguous or uncertain. The real question concerns how the entrepreneur encounters and processes the various events that give rise to ambiguity or stress or uncertainty. Yet, relatively little is known regarding what it is like to be in the moment as a venture unfolds. The founder of a venture, particularly if it is his or her first venture, is attempting to learn how to be an entrepreneur. Engaged in creating something where there was nothing, he or she is acting out a multiplicity of roles for which there are no scripts. All the while, the entrepreneur is affecting change (e.g., in markets, value chains, the competitive environment, technology, a local economy) while operating within a context where one has relatively little control. Things are neither well-defined...
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