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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Entrepreneurial Theorizing

An Approach to Research

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Addresses fundamental questions to explain how to generate, pursue, and publish new entrepreneurship theories

  • Focuses on the mindset, decisions, and practices of entrepreneurship scholars

  • Presents a coherent framework and process for engaging in entrepreneurship research and building new theories

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Theorizing and Entrepreneurship

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 1-39Open Access
  3. Me-Search for Generating Ideas for Entrepreneurial Theorizing

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 41-56Open Access
  4. Anthropomorphizing for Entrepreneurial Theorizing

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 57-91Open Access
  5. Managing Trade-Offs in Entrepreneurial Theorizing

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 93-131Open Access
  6. Writing Entrepreneurial-Theorizing Outcomes

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 133-167Open Access
  7. A Lean Approach to Entrepreneurial Theorizing

    • Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt
    Pages 169-206Open Access
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 207-210

About this book

This open access book investigates an entrepreneurial approach to building new theories. It provides a rich understanding of how specific tools facilitate aspects of the theorizing process and offers a clearer big picture of the process of building important new entrepreneurship theories. The authors show that anthropomorphizing has been a critically important tool for developing influential entrepreneurship theories. They reveal how scholars build on their rich and highly accessible understanding of humans (i.e., the self and others) to make guesses and sense of entrepreneurial anomalies, articulate theoretical mechanisms to build more robust entrepreneurship theories, and create plausible stories that facilitate sensegiving. Further, they offer a framework that guides entrepreneurship scholars in finding a balance to maximize their contributions and guides reviewers and editors in managing the revise-and-resubmit process to advance the entrepreneurship field. Finally, they present lean scholarship as an approach to developing a portfolio of high-quality, high-impact papers. Lean scholarship starts with an entrepreneurial mindset and involves creating a minimum viable paper, exploring its validity, adding a plausible paper to one’s portfolio, and managing the portfolio by periodically deciding whether to persevere, pivot, or terminate each paper. This seminal work will appeal to entrepreneurship researchers, both those new to the field as well as seasoned veterans, who want to learn more about the tools that can be used to generate new knowledge about new ventures and other entrepreneurship topics.


  • Entrepreneurship
  • New Theories
  • Empirical Theorizing
  • Abduction
  • Lean Scholarship
  • Open Access
  • entrepreneurial orientation

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA

    Dean A. Shepherd

  • Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

    Holger Patzelt

About the authors

Dean A. Shepherd is the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, Notre Dame University, USA. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Business Venturing and has published over 180 scholarly journal articles and 23 books on entrepreneurship.

Holger Patzelt is Chair in Entrepreneurship at the School of Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany. He is currently an Associate Editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.  His research interests include entrepreneurial cognition and economic, emotional and psychological consequences of failure.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Entrepreneurial Theorizing

  • Book Subtitle: An Approach to Research

  • Authors: Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Business and Management, Business and Management (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-24044-7Published: 10 January 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-24047-8Published: 10 January 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-24045-4Published: 09 January 2023

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 210

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Entrepreneurship, Management

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)