A Narrative Perspective to Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Academy of Management Review, 38(1), 2013
4 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2013
There continues to be considerable interest in entrepreneurial processes as evidenced in recent reflection pieces in the AMR (Shane, 2012; Venkataraman, Sarasvathy, Dew & Foster, 2012). Of particular interest are questions around the sources of entrepreneurial opportunities. For instance, is entrepreneurship a process of discovery or one of creation? Should we locate agency in specific individuals or should we conceptualize entrepreneurs as part of a larger process where agency is distributed and emergent?
We propose a “narrative perspective” that is informed by actor-network theory (Callon, 1986; Latour, 2005). Such a perspective subscribes to a relational ontology, one where what is “in” and what is “out” is not given but instead emerges in and through actions and interactions. An additional advantage of taking a narrative perspective is that it endogenizes time thereby allowing one to examine issues around temporal agency, a facet that Venkataraman et al. (2012) allude to in their review but leave unexplored. Finally, a narrative perspective emphasizes “meaning making” (e.g. Bruner, 1990) as a core driver of the process, thereby providing yet one more vantage point on the nature and scope of entrepreneurial opportunities and agency.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, narrative, opportunity
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