Capturing entrepreneurial practices' socio-materiality with ethnography-based research

Hill, Inge (2022). Capturing entrepreneurial practices' socio-materiality with ethnography-based research. In: Thompson, Neil; Byrne, Orla; Jenkins, Anne and Teague, Bruce eds. Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship as Practice. Handbooks of Business and Management Research as Practice series. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 266–280.



This chapter sketches my learning journey in understanding the significance of socio-materiality as an inextricably integrated element of entrepreneurial practices. The chapter is aimed at researchers - experienced or at Master's level - embarking on the discovery journey of obtaining a nuanced, finer understanding of entrepreneurial practices as interconnected sets of iterative activities in contexts. The discussion of entrepreneurial practices is rooted in Bourdieu's practice theory lens, as this version of practice theory offers insights into how contingent practices are accomplished. I discovered that ethnographic based research offers the best solution for capturing the multi-layered, inextricably linked elements of practices in contexts. Through combining observations, interviews, with action research and online secondary research, the complex multiplicity of processes and social relations can be gathered. This method mix allows deeper insights into the ongoing accomplishment of 'doing business', and its complexity. This chapter aims to offer guidance on using ethnographic methods for entrepreneurship-as-practice research, illuminated by relevant theory. The discussion considers how to identify the material artefacts and social relations, necessary for accomplishing entrepreneurial outcomes.

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