Mumpsimus and the mything of the individualistic entrepreneur
Dodd, Sarah Drakopoulou
Anderson, Alistair R.
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The purpose of this paper is to explore the persistence, in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary, of the notion that entrepreneurship is a purely individualistic practice. It may be that taking account of the dynamics of social conditioning, social interaction and the embedding process is simply too complex to be used as a heuristic, instead the convenient myth of the romantic of the heroic individual holds sway. The methodological issue of an under-socialised concept of entrepreneurship is considered, showing how methodological individualism could easily arise in explanations which risk employing contradictory levels of analysis and explanation. To conceive the entrepreneur as an atomistic and isolated agent of change is to ignore the milieu that supports, drives, produces and receives the entrepreneurial process. The entrepreneurial agent encounters the social, may be shaped by it, but in turn, employs his or her agency to change the structure.