Concepts as Mirrors and Torches: Rigor and Relevance as Scholarly Performativity

Neil Aaron Thomson, Orla Byrne, Dimo Dimov

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This article aims to further the rigor and relevance discussion in entrepreneurship studies. It argues that tensions arise due to an adherence to a rigor-as-correspondence perspective, which can be addressed through the advancement of a rigor-as-performativity perspective. Entrepreneurship concepts are tools used to define, represent, and explain entrepreneurial experience, yet how these tools hook onto the world is a question of performance and applica- tion rather than unambiguous correspondence. We advocate for a view of rigor and relevance that appreciates the torch-like features of concepts—how they help entrepreneurs deal with the world so that they may fulfil their intentions—whilst retaining an understanding that the future is unknowable and change a constant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalEntrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Early online date21 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2022


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