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Conceptualising entrepreneurship as economic 'explanation' and the consequent loss of 'understanding'.

Anderson, Alistair R.


Alistair R. Anderson


This paper examines how entrepreneurship has become conceptualised as an economic phenomenon. We explain how the outcomes, the admirable results of entrepreneurship, have led to this position. An understandable concern for the economic benefits from enterprise, and the appeal of measurability, has led to a focus on explaining entrepreneurship. This has been matched by a relative neglect of examining the processes that would help us to understand entrepreneurship. Explanations of entrepreneurship best fit a systems view, where entrepreneurship is a mechanism for adjustment to change, as for example in Kirznerian alertness. But such a view cannot take full account of how entrepreneurship produces change. In homogenising entrepreneurship's idiosyncratic nature, we miss the nuanced understanding of how the entrepreneurial self fits into context to create, as well as employ, change. The instrumentality of explanation obscures the subjectivity of entrepreneurial practices.


ANDERSON, A.R. 2015. Conceptualising entrepreneurship as economic 'explanation' and the consequent loss of 'understanding'. International journal of business and globalisation [online], 14(2), pages 145-157. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 12, 2015
Publication Date Jun 30, 2015
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 13, 2015
Journal International journal of business and globalisation
Print ISSN 1753-3627
Electronic ISSN 1753-3635
Publisher Inderscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 145-157
Keywords Entrepreneurial enactment; Opportunity creation; Social process; Social construction; Context
Public URL


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