Researching Entrepreneurship as Lived Experience
Book chapter, 2006
Much entrepreneurship research explicitly or implicitly employs positivistic methods where theoretical concepts and the things we encounter in the world are treated as unequivocally given. While important such approaches tend to bracket many animated aspects of human being and behaviour commonly associated with entrepreneurship. To offer an alternative this chapter introduces the phenomenological tradition through the philosophies of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Phenomenology problematizes positivism and sees all knowledge as grounded in the everyday life experiences. Building from this tradition, phenomenological methods can be used to capture and communicate the meanings of different entrepreneurial experiences. Such an approach allows for a deeper understanding of how theoretical concepts and empirical events are understood and translated into action by entrepreneurs.