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Entrepreneurship as the structuration of individual and opportunity: A response using a critical realist perspective: Comment on Sarason, Dean and Dillard

  • Mole, Kevin F.
  • Mole, Miranda

Sarason et al. [Sarason, Y., Dean, T., Dillard, J.F., 2006. Entrepreneurship as the nexus of individual and opportunity: a structuration view. J. Bus. Venturing, 21, 286-305] build upon Shane and Venkataraman's [Shane, S., Venkataraman, S., 2000. The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Acad. Manage. Rev., 25, 217-226] framework of the interrelationship between opportunity and the entrepreneur, by proposing Giddens' structuration theory as the 'lens through which to view the entrepreneurial process' (2006: 286). In this comment we make four points. Although we agree that the nexus of entrepreneur and opportunity is one that requires understanding within the context of social structure and the individual agency. Our view of structure differs substantially from Giddens and by implication Sarason et al. (2006). We discuss the implications. Second, since strata in social reality have different ontologies we propose it follows that they are viewed as a dualism. Third, agents have causal power, and ultimate concerns which they try to fallibly to put into practice. We propose entrepreneurship as the study of the interplay between the structures of a society and the agents within it, the implications of fallibility is made explicit. Finally, we take issue with Sarason et al.'s argument for an interpretist epistemology. We conclude that it appears to us that structuration theory is not the most useful theory to handle the nexus of opportunity and entrepreneurship. Rather a critical realist perspective, like Archer's morphogenesis, may be more appropriate.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 230-237

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:2:p:230-237
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