Call for papers in HSR Sonderheft

Entrepreneurial Groups: definitions, forms, and historic change

In this special issue, we focus on entrepreneurship as collective action undergone by entrepreneurial groups, which can be broadly defined as a small number of people investing time, resources and effort to pursue an entrepreneurial project. Lately, entrepreneurship research is rethinking its unit of analysis – a debate so fundamental in its impact that it may ring in a paradigm shift. The realization is growing that entrepreneurship is most often undertaken collectively.

Empirical findings of a number of fragmented research streams highlight the need to conceptualize the collective actors of entrepreneurship in a relational way (Ruef and Lounsbury, 2007; Ruef, 2010) such as research on founding teams (e.g. Visintin and Pittino, 2014), family business research (e.g. Sharma et al., 2012), or ethnic entrepreneurship (e.g. Casson and Godley, 2005, 2010). The emerging paradigm of a relational approach to entrepreneurship treats the empirical phenomena as new whereas historical studies suggest that entrepreneurial groups have been present all along, but have taken different forms across time and cultures. A historic perspective calls to attend to the historic circumstances of group formation and change. Through this call, we aim to portray and integrate various historic and current forms of collective engagement in entrepreneurship. We adopt the view that the concept of entrepreneurial groups can function as an overarching term for various tie compositions among group members such as spouses (i.e. copreneurs), family members (i.e. entrepreneurial families), friends, or members of migrant communities that jointly engage in entrepreneurship. We invite authors to exhibit the social and historic circumstances of group formation and their development, to clarify relational dynamics among group members, and to capture those mechanisms by which their entrepreneurial capacity is mobilized. By scrutinizing various historic and current forms of entrepreneurial groups, we intend to further a discussion about the collective actors of entrepreneurship.

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