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Beyond Venture Creation: The Individual Benefits of Entrepreneurial Action

Taking action is a critical element for success in entrepreneurship as it promotes a cycle of constant improvement in identifying, exploiting, and evaluating opportunities.


Entrepreneurial action is often associated with the creation of new ventures and the pursuit of financial success. However, a recent study suggests that there are other outcomes of entrepreneurial action that are often overlooked. The study explores how entrepreneurial action can create individual benefits, even in the absence of venture emergence and financial success.

Sara Thorgren at Luleå University of Technology and Trenton Alma Williams at Indiana University collected longitudinal data — 94 interviews, 40 survey responses, and 37.5 hours of observation — from a group of individuals who experienced significant disruption due to forced migration. These individuals engaged in entrepreneurial action with the general goal of adapting to a new context. The study integrated theory on entrepreneurship to develop a grounded model of post-disruption entrepreneuring.

This model has three main components. The first component is disruption assessment impact, which involves interpreting how the disruption will influence one’s ability to pursue tasks and goals that provide meaning in life. The second component is the use of entrepreneuring, which involves the function and application of entrepreneuring activities in addressing opportunities or threats. The third component is projected goals, which involve anticipated outcomes that provide meaning, motivation, and purpose.

The authors found that these three components of post-disruption entrepreneuring provide individuals with an objective way of framing their situation. As a result, entrepreneuring can serve as an accessible mental structure that facilitates adaptation.

This study contributes to the literature by demonstrating the generative capacity of entrepreneurial action even in the absence of venture creation. It highlights the importance of understanding the individual benefits of entrepreneurial action and the potential for entrepreneurial action to serve as a mechanism for adaptation in the face of significant disruption.

Overall, this study emphasizes the need for a broader understanding of entrepreneurial action beyond venture creation and financial success. It highlights the potential for entrepreneurial action to create individual benefits and facilitate adaptation in the face of disruption. By expanding our understanding of entrepreneurial action, we can better appreciate the diverse ways in which entrepreneurship can shape individuals and communities.

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