Entrepreneurs as Scientists: A Pragmatist Alternative to the Creation-Discovery Debate
Academy of Management Review
In a thoughtful comment on our paper (Zellweger & Zenger, 2022), Sergeeva, Bhardwaj, and Dimov (2022) join us in advocating for a pragmatist perspective on entrepreneurship. The authors however offer two closely related critiques of our pragmatist perspective. They suggest entrepreneurs are more than scientists seeking to understand their world, but rather engineers, designers, and artists who act to produce value within it. They also situate our pragmatist perspective within the epistemological creation vs. discovery debate, and cast us into the discovery camp where entrepreneurs merely seek to discover a future that already objectively exists in the present. In our comments below, we develop two responses. First, while we wholeheartedly agree that entrepreneurs act to create value as they solve problems, in doing so, all humans, including entrepreneurs, engineers, and artists act as scientists. Second, while we reject the placement of our perspective in the discovery camp, we argue that our entrepreneur as scientist perspective and pragmatism more generally find little use for the made vs. found distinction.
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Academy of Management
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