Between Cognition and Discourse: Phenomenology and the Study of Entrepreneurship
Journal article, 2015
This paper describes phenomenological approaches to studying entrepreneurs and their behaviours with the goal of providing a useful complement to the cognitive and discursive approaches that are common in the field today. These two approaches typically seek coherent explanations of entrepreneurial behaviours by grounding them in underlying cognitions or extra-individual discourses. Phenomenology on the other hand seeks to capture the richness of individuals’ lived experiences. While some degree of scientific reduction is inevitable in all empirical research, such reduction is also accompanied by the risk of ignoring essential insights. This paper argues that the study of entrepreneurship is especially vulnerable to misleading conclusions stemming from premature abstraction and analysis.