Entrepreneurial Journey

We use the terms entrepreneur, opportunity, uncertainty, action to talk about entrepreneurship. But as straightforward as they seem, there is more below the surface…

With a philosophical flavour:

On entrepreneurial action, opportunities, uncertainty, and scholarship

The papers below pose soul searching, provocative questions on the relationship between academics and entrepreneurs, the role of language, the basis for action, and the nature of uncertainty as things unfold over time.

Entrepreneurship as a design journey

This is a new line of research into entrepreneurship as an artificial phenomenon, with its outcomes as designed at the interface of human purpose and external constraints. The papers below scope a design science of entrepreneurship, focused on the enactment of entrepreneurial purpose.

The paper Nair, Gaim, and Dimov (2020) explores support for early-venturing can be organized given the emergent nature of opportunities and the open-ended, non-linear nature of entrepreneurial journey. It synthesises principles from complex adaptive systems. 

The paper McMullen and Dimov (2013) explores the unfolding and unpredictability of the entrepreneurial journey, the paper below looks at the thorny questions that arise from studying entrepreneurship as a process.

The paper Dimov (2016) explores the implications of studying the future (rather than the past).

Entrepreneurial opportunities

When we hear stories of successful entrepreneurs, we have a natural tendency to attribute “how it all began” to a single person, with a single, visionary insight. But retrospective accounts of successful endeavors tend to instill an aura of inevitability that is never evident when we consider the merits of new ideas. This asymmetry between explaining the past and anticipating the future has important implications for the science that can be built around understanding opportunities.

Two papers (Dimov, 2007b; 2011) reflect on the unfolding nature of entrepreneurial opportunities, from initial ideas that simply happen to a set of viable market exchanges.

Another paper (Dimov, 2007a), seeks to shed light on what makes business ideas that occur to us more likely to inspire entrepreneurial action. There needs to be an optimal combination of what aspiring entrepreneurs know about the business domain, how they learn, and how their idea comes about.

Another paper (Dimov, 2010), examines what happens to entrepreneurs who set out to pursue their ideas. Over time, these ideas may continue to excite or lose their luster entirely. The entrepreneurs’ experience and planning activities prove valuable for reaching two different milestones of success: developing the ideas that have promise into viable ventures and abandoning the ideas that lack promise.