EGOS – Sub theme 51 – Organization-in-Creation: The Processes and Practices of Entrepreneuring

Claire Champenois
Audencia Business School, France
Neil A. Thompson
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Daniel Hjorth
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Call for Papers

The purpose of this sub-theme is to further the dialogue between organization theory and entrepreneurship studies following recent calls from scholars in both fields (Burton et al., 2019; Hjorth, 2012). To do so, we wish to explore and enrich the conception of entrepreneuring as organization creation (Hjorth, 2014) or organization-in-creation (Gartner, 2016; Katz et al., 1988). Entrepreneuring “affirms the new – rather than what is – and therefore makes necessary new organization in order for the new to work (add superior value)” (Hjorth, 2012). This conception of entrepreneurship connects both scholarly communities through the shared assumptions of relational and processual constitution of organizing (Hjorth et al., 2015). However, while organization creation and organizational emergence have long been recognized as the core of the entrepreneurship phenomenon, scholars have not yet absorbed, both theoretically and empirically, the full potential and uniqueness of this perspective.
To further develop this connection, this symposium aims to further scholars’ use of the notion of entrepreneuring (Steyaert, 2007). Entrepreneuring pertains to the “creative and social/collective organizing process that materializes in a venture” (Johannisson, 2011, p. 137), amidst an unfinalized, open-ended trajectory (Dimov et al., 2020). By focusing on entrepreneuring as a process, scholars wish to address how situated creative practices shape new forms of organizing and organizations, as it is in the interactive doings and sayings that we can better observe and theorize them. Recent research in this area has expanded our understanding of entrepreneuring as a creative endeavour by focusing not so much on what is inside entrepreneurs’ minds or how the environment can enable or constrain individual behaviour, but on how this organization-creation process develops in situ through interactions among practitioners and their social and institutional contexts (Chalmers et al., 2017; Dodd, 2014; Garcia-Lorenzo et al., 2018).
One promising way of refining the connection between organization theory and entrepreneurship studies is through the practice theory tradition (Champenois et al., 2020; Sklaveniti et al., 2019; Thompson et al., 2019). In this perspective, practices are seen as the relevant unit of analysis for the exploration of entrepreneuring (Higgins et al., 2018; Keating et al., 2013). Although there is no one definition of practice possible, practices are fundamentally collaborative and relational activities, and not solely reducible to the agents who carry them out (Barinaga, 2017; Campbell, 2019). As they are defined by Schatzki (2002, 2012), practices are organized by the enactment of sequential bodily activities, mediated by ‘things’ and their use, and drawing upon practical knowledge. Practices bring together actors, activities and contexts, thus interrelating social structures and human agency (Gartner, 1989; Sarason et al., 2010). This research aims to observe, theorize and unfold the practices – as ways of doing and saying things – carried out by practitioners (not just ‘the’ entrepreneur’) during the process of organization-creation (Thompson et al., 2020).
This sub-theme relates with the general Colloquium theme (“Organizing for an Inclusive Society”) in that entrepreneuring pertains to a process of inclusion/exclusion (of employees, shareholders, stakeholders) around a collective and organized purpose or vision or, at least, a collective trajectory. Connecting entrepreneuring and organization studies points to the fact that inclusive/exclusive organizations are phenomena that are created and accomplished through ongoing practices and their connections, thus going beyond any individual entrepreneur.
We welcome contributions that study the entrepreneurial phenomenon (entrepreneuring) as organization-in-creation, conceived either as organizing processes or practices, and as their outcomes (inclusive/exclusive organizational forms), through new conceptual, methodological and empirical means.
Possible topics for submission include:

  • Empirical studies of practices related to entrepreneuring / organization-in-creation, such as stakeholder conversations, developing and transforming ideas and opportunities, networking, managing client interactions, designing products, hiring, implementing human resource management and managerial practices, coordinating among founders and shareholders, etc.
  • Boundary setting, maintaining and work related to organization creation
  • Rule, role and identity formation while creating or developing an organization
  • Rules and knowledge sustaining and being created by the organization creation process
  • The endogenous construction of context and its interplay in organization creation
  • Theorizing the embeddedness of entrepreneuring/organization creation practices
  • The constitution and experience of emotions/affects as related to entrepreneuring practices
  • Diversity and transformation of entrepreneuring during organizational emergence
  • The role of material artefacts, tools and bodies in organization creation practices
  • The role of discourse, fiction, narratives, images in organization creation
  • Manufacturing morals and values in new ventures
  • Managing political and ideological tensions as well as conflicts linked to entrepreneuring



  • Barinaga, E. (2017): “Tinkering with space: the organizational practices of a nascent social venture.” Organization Studies, 38 (7), 937–958.
  • Burton, M.D., Colombo, M.G., Rossi-Lamastra, C., & Wasserman, N. (2019): “The organizational design of entrepreneurial ventures.” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 13 (3), 243–255.
  • Campbell, B. (2019): Practice Theory in Action: Empirical Studies of Interaction in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. London: Routledge.
  • Chalmers, D.M., & Shaw, E. (2017): “The endogenous construction of entrepreneurial contexts: A practice-based perspective.” International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 35 (1), 19–39.#
  • Champenois, C., Lefebvre, V. & Ronteau, S. (2020): “Entrepreneurship as practice: systematic literature review of a nascent field.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 32 (3–4), 281–312.
  • Dimov, D., & Pistrui, J. (2020): “Recursive and discursive model of and for entrepreneurial action.” European Management Review, 17 (1), 267–277.
  • Dodd, S.D.L.D. (2014): “Roots radical – place, power and practice in punk entrepreneurship.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 26 (1–2), 165–205.
  • Garcia-Lorenzo, L., Donnelly, P., Sell-Trujillo, L., & Imas, J. M. (2018): “Liminal entrepreneuring: The creative practices of nascent necessity entrepreneurs.” Organization Studies, 39 (2–3), 373–395.
  • Gartner, W.B. (1989): “‘Who is an Entrepreneur?’ Is ‘the Wrong Question.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 13 (4), 47–67.
  • Gartner, W.B. (2016): Entrepreneurship as Organizing: Selected Papers of William B. Gartner. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Higgins, D., Galloway, L., Jones, P., & McGowan, P. (2018): “Special focus: Towards entrepreneurship learning practices – Thoughts and insights.” Industry and Higher Education, 33 (1), 3–5.
  • Hjorth, D. (ed.) (2012): Handbook on Organisational Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
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  • Hjorth, D., Holt, R., & Steyaert, C. (2015): “Entrepreneurship and process studies.” International Small Business Journal, 33 (6), 599–611.
  • Johannisson, B. (2011): “Towards a practice theory of entrepreneuring.” Small Business Economics, 36 (2), 135–150.
  • Katz, J., & Gartner, W.B. (1988): “Properties of emerging organizations.” Academy of Management Review, 13 (3), 429–441.
  • Keating, A., Geiger, S., & Mcloughlin, D. (2013): “Riding the practice waves: social resourcing practices during new venture development.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38 (5), 1–29.
  • Sarason, Y., Dillard, J.F., & Dean, T. (2010): “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Journal of Business Venturing, 25 (2), 238–243.
  • Schatzki, T. (2002): The Site of the Social: A Philosophical Account of the Constitution of Social Life and Change. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
  • Schatzki, T. (2012): “A primer on practices.” In: J. Higgs, R. Barnett, M. Hutchings & F. Trede (eds.): Practice-based Education: Perspectives and Strategies. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 13–26.
  • Sklaveniti, C., & Steyaert, C. (2019): “Reflecting with Pierre Bourdieu: Towards a reflexive outlook for practice-based studies of entrepreneurship.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 32 (3–4), 313–333.
  • Steyaert, C. (2007): “‘Entrepreneuring’ as a conceptual attractor? A review of process theories in 20 years of entrepreneurship studies.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 19 (6), 453–477.
  • Thompson, N. A., & Byrne, O. (2019): “Advancing entrepreneurship as practice: Previous developments and future possibilities.” In Gartner, W.B., & Teague, B. (Eds.): The Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial: Behavior, Practice, Process and Action. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Thompson, N.A., Verduijn, K., & Gartner, W.B. (2020): “Entrepreneurship-as-practice: Grounding contemporary theories of practice into entrepreneurship studies.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 32 (3–4), 1–25.
Claire Champenois is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at Audencia Business School, France. Her research interests focus on the collective dimensions, roles and emergence of formal organizations and the relational aspects of entrepreneuring. Claire’s work draws from organizational and sociological theories and has appeared in journal such as ‘Journal of Small Business Management’, ‘Technovation’, ‘Environment and Planning: Government and Policy’, and ‘Entrepreneurship & Regional Development’.
Neil A. Thompson is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics, The Netherlands. His research focuses on integrating contemporary theories of practice with entrepreneurship and organization studies, with a particular interest in sustainable development. Neil He is a co-founder of the international research community Entrepreneurship as Practice ( His research has been published in journals such as ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Entrepreneurship & Regional Development’, ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, ‘International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research’, and ‘Journal of Cleaner Production’.
Daniel Hjorth is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organisation at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Nottingham Business School, United Kingdom; and (Adjunct Professor) at Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Japan. He is Editor-in-Chief of ‘Organization Studies’. His latest books include the “Handbook of Organisational Entrepreneurship” (2012), and he co-edited) the Oxford University Press “Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organisation Studies”. Daniel’s research is focused on art, aesthetics, and organization; philosophy and organization/entrepreneurship, creativity and organization, social entrepreneurship, and the organizational conditions for entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation.