Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SMEs

The 1st International Conference in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SMEs on 3rd and 4th of November 2011 at the Ecole de Management de Normandie, Caen, France will have a track that might be interesting to researchers of the social aspects of entrepreneurship. It’s the one called “Entrepreneurial organizing: Projects and processes” [PDF].

In this stream we will focus our attention on studies of how entrepreneurship is organized in practice. Our primary interest is neither in individual entrepreneurs nor in sociocultural settings, but rather how entrepreneurial work are expressed on a day-to-day basis in sociocultural settings.


Theoretically, we build this upon a process ontology implying a view of entrepreneurship as something constantly in emergence through series of social events. It is not a predictable and controllable series of events, however, it is rather a ‘never ending story’ of interactions that may take any imaginable or un-imaginable direction.


A core metaphor in the study of entrepreneurial processes is the notion of projects, i.e. entrepreneurial processes seen as time-limited, team-enacted series of events. What we want is to be able to view entrepreneurial processes as discontinuous, discernible and disaggregated series of events – as co-constructed by involved actors as limited in time, scope and social involvement.


Consequently, one important aspect of our suggested perspective is to study entrepreneurship as temporary organising processes.


Based on this, we invite papers relating to entrepreneurship in terms of processes, projects or organizing. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Empirical studies of innovative projects
  • Teamwork in entrepreneurial settings
  • Critical Management Theory perspectives on entrepreneurial organizing – The planning – creativity dilemma in entrepreneurial projects
  • Entrepreneurial leadership in interaction
  • Gendered practices of entrepreneurship and project

Even the term “actor network” gets a mention somewhere in there…


6 Comments on “Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and SMEs”

  1. This looks very interesting. Specially the one about “Empirical studies of innovative projects”…

    It’s also quite fascinating that the call mentions the work of Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores, and Hubert Dreyfus: “Disclosing New Worlds” from 1997. This is a heavy Heiddegerian influenced work. As you know Flores is a Chilean Philosopher/Entrepreneur that was the young Minister of Economy of Salvador Allende’s government.
    In fact, what they claims that: “”Entrepreneurs are in tune with the disclosive nature of human activity in that they establish disclosive spaces held together by particular styles” (Spinosa et al., 1997:68). And this disclosive character of humans means capacity of a group of people to make history (Flores, 1997). Then the “nature” of the entrepreneurs is their ability to bring about change and create history…

  2. The call mentioned: “In the words of Spinosa et al (1997), the act/temporary process starts as an anomaly in a local/cultural context and is over when history has been written in that very local/cultural context – when the entrepreneurial act has gained acceptance and not seen as an anomaly any more. Then the actor network may of course introduce new anomalies and initiate new entrepreneurial acts – thereby also keep the organization innovating and developing”

    So this could be an interesting point to connect the material relational ontology a la ANT- with the work of Heiddeger…Any clues about it?

  3. PE says:

    Thanks for the pointer. I didn’t realise that that was the book they were referring to. And I also missed the implicit Heidegger-ANT connection in there. Interesting. It is certainly possible to make connections between Heidegger and ANT or to show that there are some connections (in fact that’s what we did at the ANTHEM meetings. Here’s a bibliography I compiled on such efforts: Although there are also important differences, so trying to do some sort of an outright synthesis would be certainly controversial (but in a sense that’s what Graham Harman is doing in his philosophy). I prefer to look at the Heidegger-ANT axis as an experimental apparatus that can help shed some light on issues that were of interest to both traditions (such as technology). So the question here is: What can the Heidegger-ANT apparatus say about entrepreneurship? Although one could also say that this is just a complication of matters, and distinct Heideggerian or ANT studies of entrepreneurship would be more philosophically and methodologically consistent.

  4. PE says:

    And the third (or fourth?) option would be to develop an approach that builds directly on Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy (or the object-oriented ontology stream of speculative realism), since that is already a kind of a synthesis of Heidegger and ANT.

  5. Very interesting stuff! I think that I will have to take a look on the literature review that you already offer here!

  6. PE says:

    The debate in “The Prince and the Wolf” that has just been released ( also articulates some of the similarities and differences between an ANT vs. a post-Heideggerian approach.

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