6th Annual Entrepreneurship as Practice Online Conference and Early Career Symposium

PhD and Early Career Symposium: 9th April 2020 (@16:00-19:00 CET)

Research Conference: 16th, 23rd, and 30th April 2020 (@16:00-19:00 CET)


The 6th version of this conference will be online and aims to advance our understanding of entrepreneurship-as-practice, foster network ties, facilitate collaborative writing relationships, and build a strong community of practice scholars. To do so, we have developed an online Research Conference and PhD Symposium to educate and connect interested scholars and to develop empirical and conceptual papers regarding the ‘practice turn’ taking place in entrepreneurship studies. 






The practice tradition (also known as practice-based studies, the practice approach or the practice lens) in the social sciences forefronts the notion that practices and their connections are fundamental to the ontology of all social phenomena (Rouse, 2006; Schatzki, Knorr-Cetina, & Savigny, 2001). Ventures, firms or startups, in this view, are not ontologically separate phenomena from the performance of everyday, materially accomplished and ordered practices (Chalmers & Shaw, 2017; Hill, 2018; Johannisson, 2011; Vincent & Pagan, 2019). This is to say that no description or explanation of features of entrepreneurial life—such as, recognizing, evaluating and exploiting opportunities—is possible without the ‘alternate’ description and explanation of how entrepreneurial life is actually lived in and through practices (Gross, Carson, & Jones, 2014; Keating, Geiger, & Mcloughlin, 2013). The term ‘practice’, therefore, does not refer to an ‘empty’ conceptual category of ‘what entrepreneurs think and do’ (Sklaveniti & Steyaert, 2019), but encompasses the meaning-making, identity-forming and order-producing interactions (Chia & Holt, 2006; Nicolini, 2009) enacted by multiple entrepreneurial practitioners and situated in specific (historical) conditions. Therefore, practice theories orient entrepreneurship scholars to take seriously the practices of entrepreneuring as they unfold and are experienced in real-time rather than as they are remembered, or interpreted. Simply put, practice scholars are concerned with the ‘nitty-gritty’ work of entrepreneuring—all the meetings, the talking, the selling, the form-filling and the number-crunching by which opportunities actually get enacted (Matthews, Chalmers, & Fraser, 2018; Whittington, 1996). This comes with considerable ontological, theoretical and methodological implications which will be addressed during the Conference and PhD Symposium.  


For background and information on EaP literature, prior conferences, media and other pertinent materials, please go to: https://www.entrepreneurshipaspractice.com.



The online Conference will be held over three full days, 16th, 23rd, and 30th April 2020 (@16:00-19:00 CET). More details about the content of each session will be made available shortly.

The PhD and Early Career Symposium is on 9th April 2020 (@16:00-19:00 CET). PhD candidates and early career scholars who wish to meet likeminded scholars and network with senior scholars should attend. Participants will be able to ask questions about EaP, meet and discuss ideas for research as well as further discuss their own research objectives. 



We welcome papers employing theories of practice to understand a wide array of entrepreneurship phenomena.  

Potential, although not exclusive, topics that may be addressed include:

Theoretical Challenges:

  • What are the differences between the individualism, structuralism and practice traditions of entrepreneurship research? 

  • How is the process approach to entrepreneurship (entrepreneuring) similar to and different from practice approach? 

  • How are entrepreneurial behaviour theories (discover, creation, effectuation, bricolage) similar and different than practice-based theories?

  • How can we carve out insights and theories without the traditional aim of reification and generalization, given practice theories’ phenomenological roots?

  • How can we theoretically cope with the enormous diversity of practices in which entrepreneurship is implicated?

  • How can entrepreneurship studies help to theorize the reproduction and transformation of practical knowledge?

  • How can we incorporate embodiment and sociomateriality into our understanding of practices related to entrepreneurship?

  • How can an EaP perspective rejuvenate our thinking about traditional entrepreneurship related topics of innovating, creating opportunities, networking, venturing, strategizing, financing and organizing? What is the value of existing theoretical frameworks of practice for entrepreneurship research, and when should we employ or go beyond them? 

  • (How) are EaP contributions critical?


Methodological and Empirical Challenges:

  • How does one begin an EaP study, such as selecting and entering a site for observation?

  • As theories of practice guide us to study the real-time and unique instances of practices related to entrepreneurship, how can we observe, analyse and theorize about these unique instances, whilst still accounting for their relations to other practices?

  • What are some common research questions that can be formulated and answered using an EaP perspective, and which practice theory is appropriate for which research questions in entrepreneurship?

  • How can one catalogue and rigorously analyse large amounts of video-based ethnographic data?

  • What can we methodologically learn from the history of the Strategy as Practice (SaP) community? 




All those are interested to attend the conference should submit an abstract (of approximately 1,000 words) by January 16th, 2021 to eap6conf@gmail.com


Abstracts should not exceed two single-spaced pages, and may not exceed the maximum limit of 1,000 words. They should present the purpose of the research, the relevance of the problem, the literature review, the methods and the main findings. Authors will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by January 21, 2021. Full working papers are due for March 16th, 2021. 

The manuscript should be 10-15 pages, Times New Roman 12, single spacing. Abstracts and papers should be written and presented in English.


All working papers will be assigned to discussion groups. Each group member will be responsible for providing feedback on the papers received during the working paper session on April 2nd.  


Important Dates:

January 16, 2021                                                        Abstract Submission Due                                            

January 21, 2021                                                        Notification of Acceptance

March 16, 2021                                                          Full Paper Submission Deadline 

April 1, 2021                                                               Registration Deadline 

April 9th April 2021 (@16:00-19:00 CET)                                            PhD and Early Career Symposium

April 16th, 23rd, and 30th April 2021 (@16:00-19:00 CET)                 Research Conference Dates


Conference Fees:

Information will be provided here soon. Since this is an online conference, fees will be minimal.



Link will be made available soon here.





  • Chalmers, D. M., & Shaw, E. (2017). The endogenous construction of entrepreneurial contexts: A practice-based perspective. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 35(1), 19–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242615589768

  • Chia, R., & Holt, R. (2006). Strategy as Practical Coping: A Heideggerian Perspective. Organization Studies , 27(5), 635–655. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840606064102

  • Gross, N., Carson, D., & Jones, R. (2014). Beyond rhetoric: re-thinking entrepreneurial marketing from a practice perspective. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 16(2), 105–127. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRME-01-2014-0003

  • Hill, I. (2018). How did you get up and running? Taking a Bourdieuan perspective towards a framework for negotiating strategic fit. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2018.1449015

  • Johannisson, B. (2011). Towards a practice theory of entrepreneuring. Small Business Economics, 36(2), 135–150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-009-9212-8

  • Keating, A., Geiger, S., & Mcloughlin, D. (2013). Riding the Practice Waves: Social Resourcing Practices During New Venture Development. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 38(5), 1–29. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12038

  • Matthews, R. S., Chalmers, D. M., & Fraser, S. S. (2018). The intersection of entrepreneurship and selling: An interdisciplinary review, framework, and future research agenda. Journal of Business Venturing, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2018.04.008

  • Nicolini, D. (2009). Zooming in and out: studying practices by switching theoretical lenses and trailing connections. Organization Studies, 30(12), 1391–1418.

  • Rouse, J. (2006). Practice theory. In D. M. Gabbay, P. Thagard, & J. Woods (Eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science (Vol. 15, pp. 500–540). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-044451542-1/50020-9

  • Schatzki, T., Knorr-Cetina, K., & Savigny, E. von. (2001). The practice turn in contemporary theory. (T. R. Schatzki, K. Knorr-Cetina, & E. von Savigny, Eds.). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0956-5221(03)00029-0

  • Sklaveniti, C., & Steyaert, C. (2019). Reflecting with Pierre Bourdieu: Towards a reflexive outlook for practice-based studies of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, (forthcoming), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/08985626.2019.1641976

  • Vincent, S., & Pagan, V. (2019). Entrepreneurial agency and field relations: A Realist Bourdieusian Analysis. Human Relations, 72(2), 188–216. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718767952

  • Whittington, R. (1996). Strategy as practice. Long Range Planning, 29(5), 731–735. https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-6301(96)00068-4


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