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What is entrepreneurship? A phenomenological enquiry into the venture creation processes of a rapidly growing firm: The archaeology company

Chalkley, Louise V. (2012) What is entrepreneurship? A phenomenological enquiry into the venture creation processes of a rapidly growing firm: The archaeology company. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the question ‘what is entrepreneurship?’ through a phenomenological enquiry into the entrepreneurial practices involved in setting a firm ‘The Archaeology Company’ that grew rapidly. It does this from three perspectives; the ontological, the epistemological and the empirical. This is both a reflection of the complex nature of entrepreneurship itself as well as the various levels of meaning that the research question ‘what is entrepreneurship?’ may have. The thesis argues that entrepreneurship research needs an alternative paradigmatic framework to the dominant ‘opportunity’ framework. This is because opportunity theory has been developed from positivist assumptions that have provided a limited framework for understanding entrepreneurship as practice. In the empirical domain of opportunity the accumulation of evidence about entrepreneurship has also been limited. Calls for more empirical evidence are answered here by applying the theoretical concept of opportunity in a real world setting. A Heideggerian phenomenological methodological approach is adopted and the case study data consists of the extensive notes and diaries kept by the founder while setting up and running her organisation. The subjectivist methodology incorporates both the ‘emic’ perspective of the entrepreneur, and the ‘etic’ perspective of the academic literature. Four theoretical deficiencies are identified with opportunity theory. These are the uncritical extension of economic views of the firm, (ii) the failure to provide an adequate and coherent definition for opportunities, (iii) ontological inconsistency in attempting to provide alternative perspectives for opportunity and (iv) the lack of empirical evidence to support opportunity theory. Furthermore the empirical data from the emic perspective of the entrepreneur does not offer support for the theory in practice. Rather the emic data describes entrepreneurship as a process of practice-driven activities that involve an active engagement in a socially embedded process drawing upon both the experiential and tangible resources of the individual. This allows entrepreneurs to solve problems by creating and controlling an effective economic entity, through the transformation of these resources for use within an organisation.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:March 2012
Refereed:No
Supervisor(s):Hogan, Teresa
Uncontrolled Keywords:Entrepreneurship
Subjects:Business > Innovation
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16782
Deposited On:05 Apr 2012 11:49 by Rachel Keegan. Last Modified 05 Apr 2012 11:49

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