Historical Social Research

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Isabell Stamm, Allan Discua Cruz & Ludovic Cailluet: Entrepreneurial Groups: Definition, Forms, and Historic Change. [Abstract]

This article connects with the rapidly expanding idea that entrepreneurship is a collective action undergone by entrepreneurial groups – a debate so fundamental in its impact that it may ring in a paradigm shift in entrepreneurship studies. Yet, the emerging small group perspective to entrepreneurship treats the empirical phenomena as new, whereas historical studies suggest that entrepreneurial groups have been present all along, but have taken different forms across time and cultures. We adopt the view that the concept of entrepreneurial groups, which can function as an overarching term for various forms of collective engagement in entrepreneurship, goes beyond start-ups and new venture teams. This article features a broad definition of entrepreneurial groups as collaborative circles engaged in an entrepreneurial project and operating under organizational pressures. Such conceptualization is important because it allows a context-sensitive perspective of entrepreneurial groups that attends to the social and historic circumstances of group formation and their development. The papers featured in this special issue highlight diverse theoretical and empirical approaches to assist in understanding collective actors in entrepreneurship and further our understanding about entrepreneurial groups.

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