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In this paper, we address a thorny challenge: how can entrepreneurship scholarship enhance its impact without compromising the pursuit of conceptual rigor and theoretical novelty? We propose a prospective inquiry framework for entrepreneurship. It aims to align the scholarly pursuit of theoretical novelty with the entrepreneurs’ focus on the future, in a shared aspiration to make a difference in the world. By expanding the focus of theoretical work toward the future, scholarship can focus on the formulation, exploration, and evaluation of alternatives to the present, as theories
for desired futures. Prospective inquiry retains the primacy of theorizing while expanding its purpose, value, and use in entrepreneurship research, unleashing its generative power. It opens new spaces for theoretical excellence, dissolves the research-practice gap, and allows researchers and practitioners to theorize and enact their aspirations for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106303
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and our field editor Scott Newbert for his support, guidance and encouragment throughout the review process.

No data was used for the research described in this article


  • Co-creation
  • Entrepreneurship theory
  • Prospective theorizing
  • Research-practice gap
  • Scholarly impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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