Time, Timing, Space and Place in Business Action
2. A phenomenology of entrepreneurial action INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the foundation of our view on entrepreneuring. This is inevitably connected to how behaviour and action are normally seen and it is based on a social phenomenologist’s approach to understanding reality. The chapter begins with an overview of the development of the academic subject of entrepreneurship, what it has come to and its present standing in terms of different schools and views. This leads to a discussion about the differences between explaining and understanding, which relates to how action is commonly described as opposed to behaviour. This, in turn, leads to how the various logics of where and when can be used in the field of entrepreneuring, which is one theme in this book. The chapter continues by presenting the authors’ philosophical position as researchers – phenomenology – and ends by exploring the fourth theme of the book, that is, by discussing the consequences of the phenomenologist position on how to understand entrepreneurial action. ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS AN ACADEMIC SUBJECT Entrepreneurship as an academic subject has existed for about 300 years. During the first 250 years or so, this subject was only of interest to economists. However, the subject of entrepreneurship has never been part of mainstream economics. For the purpose of this book, it is worth bringing up four classical scholars from the time, when only economists were interested in entrepreneurship, and present their ideas of what entrepreneurship is all about. They are Richard Cantillon (1680–1734), Jean Baptiste Say (1767–1832)...
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