CfP – Special Issue Entrepeneurship as Practice – IJEBR


Entrepreneurship as Practice

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

Guest Editors:
Bruce Teague, Eastern Washington University
Richard Tunstall, University of Leeds
Claire Champenois, Audencia Business School
William B. Gartner, Babson College and Linnaeus University

This special issue focuses on a core tenet of IJEBR to “advance the study of human and behavioural dimensions of entrepreneurship” by furthering an “entrepreneurship as practice perspective” (EAP) that should showcase fieldwork that explores specific entrepreneurial practices in specific settings.  As championed by Steyaert (2007), Johannisson (2011) and Watson (2013), the entrepreneurship-as-practice perspective is now gaining traction, witnessed by such contributions as De Clercq & Voronov (2009), Terjesen & Elam (2009); Goss et al. (2011), and Keating et al. (2013).
While classic “philosophers of practice” (e.g. Heidegger, 1929/1996; Wittgenstein, 1953, 1969, 1982, 1980) and “theorists of practice” (e.g. Bourdieu, 1990; Giddens, 1976) have emphasized the habitual, repetitive and taken-for-granted role of human practices, we posit that current research on practice focuses on the coordination of actions that reflect people’s understandings of “how to get things done” in complex settings (Nicolini, 2012; Orlikowski, 2002).  Expanding upon this search for commonalities across practice theory approaches, Schatzki argues that practice theories generally recognize elements of human activity that cannot be put into words, or neatly captured through methodologies that assume subject-object independence.   Instead, scholars attempt to capture an understand the tacit interplay that leads to emergence, reproduction, and transition of social practices (Schatzki, 2002; 2012).  Taking a practice approach makes it possible to conceive of the entrepreneurial process “as a culturally shaped achievement, the result of engaging with and transforming social practices of doing and living” (Steyaert, 2007).
From an “entrepreneurship as practice” perspective, the entrepreneur carries patterns of bodily behaviour, but also of certain routinized ways of understanding, knowing how and desiring, for and about, entrepreneurship. These conventionalized ‘mental’ activities of — understanding, knowing how and desiring — are necessary elements and qualities of entrepreneurship practices in which the entrepreneur participates, and which are not necessarily qualities of the entrepreneur.  Moreover, practice as a ‘nexus of doings and sayings’ (Schatzki, 2001) is not solely understandable to the agent or the agents who carry it out, it is likewise understandable to potential observers (at least within the same culture). Entrepreneurship practices are thus routinized ways in which entrepreneurs move bodies, handle objects, treat subjects, describe things and understands the world. Schatzki (2001) summarizes these elements within the umbrella term of ‘field of practices’, comprising of knowledge, meaning, human activity, science, power, language, social institutions, and historical transformation.
We see the use of practice theory and the general framework of “entrepreneurship as practice” as a means to advance entrepreneurship research in several ways. First, entrepreneurship as practice moves us away from a focus on ‘who’ an entrepreneur, placing emphasis instead on the importance of activity, performance, and work in the creation and perpetuation of entrepreneurial practices.  Second, practice theory helps us understand the critical role of the body and material objects in organizing entrepreneurship. Third, the practice perspective helps us perceive and better understand the reproduction of entrepreneurial practices across time, space, and individuals. Fourth, EAP highlights the importance of mundane, and often overlooked activities within the performance of action hierarchies and higher order teleological hierarchies.  Finally, we see EAP as a lens through which strong ethnographic research can be developed that facilitates understanding the relatedness of actions and practices across contexts and nets of practices.
We invite authors to clarify the question of how individual entrepreneurship practices relate to (the) ‘organizing context’ and that employ fieldwork and careful observation to capture those mechanisms by which collective support for entrepreneurship may be mobilized (Johannisson, 2011).   We specifically look for research that (1) identifies the every-day and socially situated nature of entrepreneurship, or that elaborates how practices relate to their broader contexts; (2) clearly recognize and describe the practice theory approach used to motivate the research, (3) recognize entrepreneurship practices, tools and methods used, and (4) relates and integrates these practices with the cognitions, behaviours, and/or skills of entrepreneurs.  We reiterate that articles accepted for this special issue will report on empirically based fieldwork rather than manuscripts that focus on or elaborate theoretical conjectures.
Submission Guidelines: We invite papers that focus on fieldwork that explores entrepreneurial practices.  Papers should be clear on the methodological approaches used for studying entrepreneurial practices and provide linkages between the practice ontologies grounding their theory with the methods used and evidence offered. We are not particularly interested in theory development papers or papers that offer speculative methodological innovations that are not applied to actual settings.  All submissions are subject to the standard double- blind review process. Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for the journal.

Full paper submission must be made through the ScholarOne site at by October 1, 2018. Submissions should be prepared according to the IJEBR Author Guidelines found at
When submitting your manuscript, please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop-down menu on page four of the submission process. Reviews, drafts and outcomes will be conducted through early to mid-2019, with publication for those accepted papers expected to be in 2020. Initial queries can be directed towards any of the guest editors at the following email addresses:
Bruce Teague:
Richard Tunstall:
Claire Champenois:
William B. Gartner: or

Relevant References 
Bourdieu, P. (1990). The Logic of Practice. Stanford University Press.
De Clercq, D. and Voronov, M. (2009). Toward a practice perspective of entrepreneurship entrepreneurial legitimacy as habitus. International Small Business Journal, 27(4), 395-419.
Feldman, M.S. and Orlikowski, W.J. (2011). Theorizing practice and practicing theory. Organization Science, 22(5), 1240-1253.
Giddens, A. (1976). New Rules of Sociological Method. Hutchinson, London.
Goss, D., Jones, R., Latham, J., and Betta, M. (2011). Power as practice: A micro-sociological analysis of the dynamics of emancipatory entrepreneurship. Organization Studies, 32(2), 211–229.
Heidegger, M. (1929/1996). Being and Time. Albany: SUNY Press.
Johannisson, B. (2011). Towards a practice theory of entrepreneuring. Small Business Economics. 36(2), 135-150.
Keating, A., Geiger, S. and McLoughlin, D. (2014). Riding the practice waves: Social resourcing practices during new venture development. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 38(5), 1207-1235.
Nicolini, D. (2012). Practice Theory, Work and Organization: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
Orlikowski, W.J. (2002). Knowing in practice: Enacting a collective capability in distributed organizing. Organization Science, 13(3), pp. 249-273.
Schatzki, T.R. 2001. “Practice Theory: An Introduction.” In: The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, edited by Theodore R. Schatzki, Karin Knorr-Cetina, and Eike von Savigny, 1–14. London: Routledge.
Schatzki, T.R. (2002). The site of the social: A philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change, Penn State Press.
Schatzki, T.R. (2012). “A primer on practices.” Practice-based education: Perspectives and strategies: 13-26.
Schatzki, T.R., Knorr-Cetina, K. and von Savigny, E. (Eds.). (2001). The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. Psychology Press. London.
Steyaert, C. (2007). ‘Entrepreneuring’ as a conceptual attractor? A review of process theories in 20 years of entrepreneurship studies. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 19(6), 453-477.
Terjesen, S. and Elam, A. (2009). Transnational entrepreneurs’ venture internationalization strategies: A practice theory approach. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 33(5), 1093–1120.
Watson, T.J. (2013). “Entrepreneurship in Action: Bringing Together the Individual, Organizational and Institutional Dimensions of Entrepreneurial Action.” Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 25 (5–6): 1–19.
Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1969). On certainty. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1981). Zettel (2nd. Ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Wittgenstein, L. (1980). Culture and value (Amended 2nd Ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.

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