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Strategy as practice meets Entrepreneurship as Practice –


mutual gains or

On 16 January 2019, Dr. Inge Hill, Coventry University, and Professor Simon O’Leary, Regent’s University will host a British Academy of Management (BAM) Workshop on practice theory in strategy and entrepreneurship

For more information please see:

Coventry University, William Morris Building, ground floor, room 14


Contact: Inge Hill



Practice theory applications offer great insights that follow much better the calls by policy makers and practitioners alike to provide knowledge that offers actionable recommendations to improve policy and business practice. While SAP – strategy as practice - has been organised more formally and much longer than EAP – entrepreneurship as practice – the speed of adaption of practice theories in entrepreneurship research means the field is developing quickly. Both strands of research meet the demands of the relevance debate of research.


This workshop is intended to take stock of the achievements and insights generated and starting a conversation with practitioners if the intention of generating more helpful knowledge for practice improvement is well on the way or if additional adjustments would be needed.


The keynote presenation if by well-known Strategy as Practice specialist Professor Paula Jarzabkowski on the state of the art in Strategy as Practice research, followed by Dr. Orla Byrne, updating us on the state of the art in entrepreneurship as practice research. Two brief examples of empirical research in both arenas illustrate how applications of practice theory can offer additional insights not possible with other theoretical framing. A short panel where practitioners and practice theory specialist explore the two business applications follows. The day finishes with a market place for finding potential collaborators for further research projects and guidance of writing for publication from two Journal (Co-)Editors in Chief.


The audience is newcomers or established researchers with an interest in practice theory applications


Presentation summaries
(in sequence, as in the programme)

Professor Paula Jarzabkowski
‘Cross-fertilization: How can Strategy-as-Practice and Entrepreneurship Inform each Other?’
In this presentation, I will give an overview of the key themes and principles of strategy-aspractice (s-as-p) research and then discuss how these principles might apply to the study of entrepreneurship. I will consider the epistemological foundations of the practice approach to strategy, entrepreneurial organizations as particular types of strategy contexts that offer potential novel insights for s-as-p, and the methodological challenges that traditional ways of studying practice, such as ethnography, pose when considering entrepreneurial contexts. I will be keen to engage with the audience on their own insights about studying entrepreneurial
organisations and contexts.

Dr. Orla Byrne
‘Entrepreneurship-as-Practice: Community, Practice and Scholarship’
In this presentation I will discuss the background and context to the EAP community, challenges and opportunities of adopting practice approaches to entrepreneurship, and what we can learn from the SAP community.


Dr Carola Wolf
‘All or Nothing? Reconsidering the strategizing affordances of strategy tools’
Carola’s presentation is based on research done in collaboration with Gary Burke (Aston University). Based on an ethnographic study investigating the socio-material practice of strategy toolmaking, we identify strategizing affordances of the toolmaking process that extend beyond traditional conceptions of the strategic outcomes of strategy tool use. We thereby distinguish different types of strategizing facilitated by the toolmaking process and discuss their implications for organizational strategizing. Our insights challenge traditional ways of thinking about the use of strategy tools and expected outcomes. We offer a counter perspective to the established strategy tools-in-use debate that typically focuses on academics and consultants as tool design authorities rather than considering management practitioners themselves as tool makers.


Dr. Inge Hill
‘Materiality of entrepreneuring - artisan entrepreneurs’

This research explores aspects of the materiality of entrepreneurial daily strategizing illustrated through artisan entrepreneurs in a UK creative industry site. The aspects of materiality this presentation unpacks in more detail are the physical body and the studio space. The research presented focuses on the ways the entrepreneurs’ habitus is a manifestation of macro-structures and shapes these structures through the agency of the entrepreneurs. Applying sociological insights on the concept of the body, the research identifies three conceptualisations and associated meanings of the body relevant for entrepreneuring.

Professor Paul Jones, Swansea University
‘Best Practices for publishing: Qualitative perspectives.’
Publishing in International academic journals in the Business management discipline remains the ultimate accolade and quality benchmark for both the individual academic and research active Universities. This session, from an experienced Editor of an International journal provides insights and best practice which will benefit active or early career researchers. The session will describe the effective framing and construction of high-quality research papers. In addition, the session also discusses the process and assessment of high-quality manuscripts. The session concludes with an overview of best practice in terms of developing an academic profile to support career enhancement.

Dr Dermot Breslin, Sheffield University
'Making a Conceptual Contribution through Literature Reviews'


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