Entrepreneurial Learning as an Effectual Process
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionLearning Organization. 2019, 26 (6), 631-647. 10.1108/TLO-04-2018-0064
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to address how entrepreneurial learning may be understood as an effectual process in the early phase of venture creation. Design/methodology/approach Previous research is used to develop a conceptual frame of reference, which is further developed through a longitudinal qualitative case study of five new venture teams. Conceptualising these teams’ learning as sequences of events over a one-year period provides rich insight from real-life processes. Findings A conceptual model of how entrepreneurial learning may be understood as an effectual process is presented. The interactions and interdependencies between nine process characteristics along three main dimensions in the process, activity, multiple actors and context-dependent, demonstrate how the process tie together as a whole. Research limitations/implications The present paper argues for further cross-fertilisation of entrepreneurial learning and effectuation research and showcases how studies of entrepreneurial learning may contribute to organisational learning in entrepreneurial ventures. The conceptualisation of characteristics and dimensions aims to support future process studies by suggesting a framework for analysing process events in longitudinal studies. Originality/value Previous research has already established how activities are central to entrepreneurial learning and emphasised that what constitutes the two dimensions of multiple actors and context-dependence is important. The present paper contributes to entrepreneurial learning with an enhanced understanding of why and how the three dimensions are important as well as interdependent and mutually interactive. The present paper also contributes to organisational learning by extending the understanding of learning in emerging entrepreneurial organisations.