Collective intentionality in entrepreneurship-as-practice

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Following principles of practice theory, entrepreneurship-as-practice (EAP) argues that entrepreneuring is a genuinely collective phenomenon. EAP seeks to overcome the dominant investigative focus on individual entrepreneurs and instead studies people's shared understandings. In response, we develop the theoretical underpinnings of collective intentionality in entrepreneurship to emphasize sharedness and togetherness in entrepreneurial action. This "we-perspective" argues for joint action as a main unit of analysis and, hence, ascertains that practices in EAP are conceptualized via people's shared understanding. To do so, the chapter views people as functional group agents and introduces three kinds of intentionality underpinning joint action in entrepreneurship: a weaker Shared Intentionality, and stronger Joint Intentionality and We-Intentionality. We conceptualize collective intentionality as a useful analytical aid to study collective entrepreneurial action and to provide guidance for large-scale socio-technical adaptations. All in all, we argue that such a collective approach is useful to entrepreneurially address grand social and sustainability challenges of our time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Entrepreneurship as Practice
EditorsNeil A. Thompson, Orla Byrne, Anna Jenkins, Bruce T. Teague
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date01.01.2022
ISBN (Print)978-1-78897-682-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78897-683-1
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Neil Aaron Thompson, Orla Byrne, Anna Jenkins and Bruce T. Teague 2022 All rights reserved.