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How does an old firm learn new tricks? a material account of entrepreneurial opportunity

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Business History
Issue number1
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)53-72
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/08/12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Opportunity has become the central concept in entrepreneurship. Discovery focused accounts assume opportunity to be objective and to exist independently of the entrepreneur. Process-focused studies critique such notions. We contribute to process-based conceptions of entrepreneurship with an account of opportunity as historically specific and materially embedded. Drawing on Latour we argue that opportunities are constituted through dense material networks. We argue that opportunity and entrepreneurship are mutually constitutive, and emphasise that the entrepreneur shares agency with a heterogeneous array of ‘actants’ in the network of opportunity. We make use of this framework in a historical analysis of a large family agribusiness in Honduras, illustrating the historically dependent nature of entrepreneurial process and the role that the material plays in it.