ArtifactDesign; Prescriptive knowledge; Problem space; Tacit knowledge; Entrepreneurial practice,
[en] An important challenge facing entrepreneurship researchers is the “three-body” knowledge problem of how to use “theoretical knowledge” to produce “prescriptive knowledge” that communicates the “practical knowledge” of situated practice to students and practitioners of entrepreneurship. We argue that a contribution can be made to solving this problem by theorizing practical knowledge as the “know-how” to do a situated entrepreneurial practice. “Know-how” is a cognitive “capacity to act” that prescribes for a practitioner how to produce a type of outcome in a range of circumstances. This “know-how” can potentially, therefore, be reconstructed theoretically as explicit micro-prescriptive guidelines for third-party practice. To exploit this connection between practical knowledge and prescriptive knowledge, however, we first need to overcome the problem that “know-how” is largely tacit in the moment of real-time forward-looking practice. In other words, the practitioner is not directly aware of their tacit “know-how”, or “tacit knowledge”, at the time of practice. In this article, we explore the contribution design theory can make to empirically eliciting, and conceptually inferring, the real-time “tacit knowledge” of entrepreneurial practice as a precursor to producing micro-prescriptive knowledge.
General management, entrepreneurship & organizational theory
Author, co-author :
Fletcher, Denise Elaine ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Center for Research in Economic Analysis (CREA)
External co-authors :
The tacit knowledge of entrepreneurial design: interrelating theory, practice and prescription in entrepreneurship research’
Publication date :
Journal title :
Journal of Business Venturing Insights
Special issue title :
Bringing design alongside theory and practice in entrepreneurship research
Argyris, C., Actionable knowledge. Tsoukas, H., Knudsen, C., (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory: Meta-Theoretical Perspectives, 2005, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 423–425.
Berglund, H., Opportunities as existing and created: a study of entrepreneurs in the Swedish mobile internet industry. J. Enterprising Cult. 15 (2007), 243–273.
Berglund, H., Dimov, D., Wennberg, K.J., Beyond bridging rigor and relevance: the three-body problem in entrepreneurship. J. Bus. Ventur. Insights 9 (2018), 87–91.
Bretano, F., Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. 1995, Routledge, London.
Chiles, T.H., Vultee, D.M., Gupta, V.K., Greening, D.W., Tuggle, C.S., The philosophical foundations of a radical Austrian approach to entrepreneurship. J. Manag. Inq. 19:2 (2010), 138–164.
Cross, N., Designerly Ways of Knowing. 2006, Springer-Verlag, London.
Dimov, D., Grappling with the unbearable elusiveness of entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrep. Theory Pract. 35:1 (2011), 57–81.
Dimov, D., Towards a design science of entrepreneurship. Corbett, A.C., Jatz, J.A., (eds.) Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, Vol. 18, Models of Start-Up Thinking and Action, 2016, Emerald Insight, Bingley, UK, 1–31.
Dimov, D., Opportunities, Language, and Time. 2018, Academy of Management Perspectives, 10.5465/amp.2017.0135.
Ding, T., Understanding the design of opportunities: re-evaluating the agent-opportunity nexus through a design lens. J. Bus. Ventur. Insights, 11, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2018.e00108.
Dorst, K., Cross, N., Creativity in the design process: co-evolution of problem-solution. Des. Stud. 22 (2001), 425–437.
Dorst, K., The core of ‘design thinking’ and its application. Des. Stud. 32 (2011), 521–532.
Emirbayer, M., Mische, A., What is agency?. Am. J. Sociol. 103:4 (1998), 962–1023.
Fiet, J.O., Prescriptive Entrepreneurship. 2008, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.
Gaglio, C.M., Katz, J.A., The psychological basis of opportunity identification: entrepreneurial alertness. J. Small Bus. Econ. 16 (2001), 95–111.
Gray, C., Seifert, C., Yilmaz, S., Daly, S., Gonzalez, R., What is the content of ‘design thinking’? Design heuristics as conceptual repertoire. Int. J. Eng. Educ. 32:3B (2016), 1349–1355.
Heidegger, M., Being and Time. 1962, Harper & Row, New York.
Johannisson, B., Towards a practice theory of entrepreneuring. Small Bus. Econ. 36:2 (2011), 135–150.
Kelly, G.A., A Theory of Personality: the Psychology of Personal Constructs. 1955/1963, Norton, New York.
Kohls, C., Scheiter, K., The relation between design patterns and schema theory. Proceedings of the 15 th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PloP’08), Nashville, TN, October 19, 2008 Article 15.
Krippendorff, K., An exploration of artificiality. Artifact 1:1 (2007), 17–22.
Lachmann, L.M., The Market as an Economic Process. 1986, Blackwell, Oxford.
Manimala, M.J., Entrepreneurial heuristics: a comparison between high PL (pioneering-innovative) and low PI ventures. J. Bus. Ventur. 7:6 (1992), 477–504.
Mansoori, Y., Entrepreneurial Methods as Vehicles for Entrepreneurial action. Licentiate Dissertation, 2017, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
McMullen, J.S., Dimov, D., Time and the entrepreneurship journey: the problems and promise of studying entrepreneurship as a process. J. Manag. Stud. 50:8 (2013), 1481–1512.
Neck, H.M., Greene, P.G., Entrepreneurship education: known worlds and new frontiers. J. Small Bus. Manag. 49:1 (2011), 55–70.
Neck, H.M., Greene, P.G., Brush, C.G., Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach. 2014, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.
Nielsen, S.L., Christensen, P.R., Lassen, A.H., Mikkelsen, M., Hunting the opportunity: the promising nexus of design and entrepreneurship. Des. J. 20:5 (2017), 617–638.
Nonaka, I., Takeuchi, H., The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. 1995, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Packard, M., Where did interpretivism go in the theory of entrepreneurship?. J. Bus. Ventur. 32 (2017), 536–549.
Polanyi, M., The Tacit Dimension. 1966/1983, Peter Smith, Gloucester, MA.
Reed, M.I., The theory/practice gap: a problem for research in business schools?. J. Manag. Dev. 28:8 (2009), 685–693.
Ries, E., The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. 2011, Random House Digital, New York, NY.
Rittel, H., On the planning crisis: systems analysis of the ‘first and second generations’. Bedriftsokonomen 8 (1972), 390–396.
Rittel, H.W.J., Webber, M.M., Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Pol. Sci. 4:2 (1973), 155–169.
Romme, A.G.L., Reymen, I.M.M.J., Entrepreneurship at the interface of design and science: toward an inclusive framework. J. Bus. Ventur. Insights, 10, 2018, 10.1016/j.jbvi.2018.e00094.
Sarason, Y., Dean, T., Dillard, J.F., Entrepreneurship as the nexus of individual and opportunity: a structuration view. J. Bus. Ventur. 21 (2006), 286–305.
Sarasvathy, S.D., Entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. J. Econ. Psychol. 24:2 (2003), 203–220.
Sarasvathy, S.D., Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise. 2008, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
Sarasvathy, S.D., Venkataraman, S., Entrepreneurship as method: open questions for an entrepreneurial future. Entrep. Theory Pract. 35:1 (2011), 113–135.
Schatzki, T.R., Introduction: practice theory. Schatzki, T.R., Knorr Cetina, K., von Savigny, E., (eds.) The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, 2001, Routledge, London, 1–14.
Schön, D.A., The Reflective Practitioner. 1983, Temple-Smith, London.
Selden, P.D., Constructing Kirznerian-Schumpeterian Entrepreneurial Opportunities: a Cognitive Constructivist Theorisation of Creative Decision-Making Processes. PhD Dissertation, 2008, Nottingham Trent University.
Selden, P.D., Fletcher, D.E., The entrepreneurial journey as an emergent hierarchical system of artifact-creating processes. J. Bus. Ventur. 30:4 (2015), 603–615.
Shackle, G.L.S., Keynesian Kaleidics. 1974, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Shackle, G.L.S., Imagination and the Nature of Choice. 1979, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
Simon, H.A., The Architecture of Complexity: Sciences of the Artificial. third ed., 1969/1996, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Sveiby, K.E., The New Organizational Wealth. 1997, Berett-Koehler, San Francisco,CA.
Tsoukas, H., Do we really understand tacit knowledge?. Easterby-Smith, M., Lyles, M.A., (eds.) The Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, 2013, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 410–427.
Tsoukas, H., Don't simplify, complexify: from disjunctive to conjunctive theorizing in organization and management studies. J. Manag. Stud. 54:2 (2017), 132–153.
van de Ven, A.H., Johnson, P., Knowledge for theory and practice. Acad. Manag. Rev. 31:4 (2006), 802–821.
Varela, F.J., Thompson, E., Rosch, E., The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. 1991, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Venkataraman, S., Sarasvathy, S.D., Dew, N., Forster, W.R., Reflections on the 2010 AMR decade award: whither the promise? Moving forward with entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Acad. Manag. Rev. 37:1 (2012), 21–33.
Virtanen, I.J., Towards better understanding of the concept of tacit knowledge: a cognitive approach. World Acad. Sci. Eng. Technol. 42 (2010), 742–752.
Visser, W., The Cognitive Artifacts of Designing. 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.
von Glasersfeld, E., An introduction to radical constructivism. Watzlawik, Paul, (eds.), 1984, The Invented Reality, Norton, New York, 1–29.
Wood, M.S., McKinley, W., The production of entrepreneurial opportunity: a constructivist perspective. Stat. Manag. J. 4 (2010), 66–83.
Yilmaz, S., Daly, S.R., Seifert, C.M., Gonzalez, R., Evidence-based design heuristics for idea generation. Des. Stud. 46:1 (2016), 95–124.