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Hermeneutic phenomenology and international entrepreneurship research


  • Richard Seymour



It is not uncommon for business researchers to avoid discussion associated with the philosophy of science. In this paper, it is argued that this avoidance weakens the quality and insightfulness of entrepreneurship and international entrepreneurship research, which by definition should be concerned with human action and activity. This paper explores the implications of alternative research philosophies and argues that a dichotomy between objective and subjective meaning is manifestly inadequate for the study of opportunity recognition and exploitation and by implication for many other problems of international entrepreneurship research. In response, hermeneutic phenomenology is proposed as an underutilized, misunderstood, yet highly relevant research paradigm. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Seymour, 2006. "Hermeneutic phenomenology and international entrepreneurship research," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 137-155, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jinten:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:137-155 DOI: 10.1007/s10843-007-0011-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sherwin Rosen, 1997. "Austrian and Neoclassical Economics: Any Gains from Trade?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 139-152, Fall.
    2. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    3. Ardichvili, Alexander & Cardozo, Richard & Ray, Sourav, 2003. "A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 105-123, January.
    4. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    5. Marian V Jones & Nicole E Coviello, 2005. "Internationalisation: conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(3), pages 284-303, May.
    6. Arnold, Stephen J & Fischer, Eileen, 1994. " Hermeneutics and Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 55-70, June.
    7. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-748, August.
    8. von Hayek, Friedrich August, 1989. "The Pretence of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(6), pages 3-7, December.
    9. Smilor, Raymond W., 1997. "Entrepreneurship: Reflections on a subversive activity," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 341-346, September.
    10. Coviello, Nicole E. & Jones, Marian V., 2004. "Methodological issues in international entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 485-508, July.
    11. Bruce Caldwell, 1997. "Hayek and Socialism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1856-1890, December.
    12. Thompson, Craig J & Locander, William B & Pollio, Howard R, 1990. " The Lived Meaning of Free Choice: An Existential-Phenomenological Description of Everyday Consumer Experiences of Contemporary Married Women," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 346-361, December.
    13. Graeme Salaman, 2002. "Managers' Theories About the Process of Innovation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 147-165, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hemme, Florian & Morais, Dominic G. & Bowers, Matthew T. & Todd, Janice S., 2017. "Extending sport-based entrepreneurship theory through phenomenological inquiry," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 92-104.
    2. Cope, Jason, 2011. "Entrepreneurial learning from failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 604-623.
    3. Nerine Mary George & Vinit Parida & Tom Lahti & Joakim Wincent, 2016. "A systematic literature review of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition: insights on influencing factors," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 309-350, June.
    4. Elad Granot, 2012. "Creative managers and managing creativity: a hermeneutic exploration," American Journal of Business, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(2), pages 161-182.


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