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Dialectic of emancipation and control: towards a critical approach to coaching practices in business incubators
ESSCA School of Management, France.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
Louvain School of Management, Belgium.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Principal Topic

Incubators at their best of abilities embrace the practices to not only foster the entrepreneurial initiatives, but also influence the activities and outcomes of the incubated entrepreneurs (Apa et al., 2017). Nevertheless, the support function of coaching is not always appropriate, especially when it comes to guiding and helping the incubated entrepreneurs to successfully overcome the adversities. In a typical incubator setting, novice entrepreneurs go through phases of doubt that make them reluctant to continue the entrepreneurial adventure. Yet, despite the importance of the role of coaching as the support function of the incubators, there is a dearth of studies on the coaching practices that incubators adopt and their influence on the incubated entrepreneurs. This research aims at questioning the coaching practices of business incubators. Specifically, we ask: 1) how the coaching practices of the incubators impact the attitudes of novice entrepreneurs to live up to the expectations of the success of the start-ups and; 2) why some novice entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful than others under the coaching practices of the incubators.

Method

Our research design is a longitudinal multiple case study reflexive approach. The research setting is entrepreneurial incubated start-ups at a business school in France. We followed project leaders of 62 start-ups, over a 5-year period (October 2012 – April 2017) of observations. We purposefully sampled cases of incubated start-ups, from which we have extreme cases of 10 successful ventures and 10 failed ventures, we labelled these cases as ‘winners’ and “losers”.

Findings and Implications

Multiple insights emerge from the study. First, we observed that the incubated novice entrepreneurs adopt both causal and effectual behaviors. Our data showed that the so-called incubated entrepreneurs labelled as ‘winners’ provided concrete illustrations of the difficulties experienced under this implacable logic of control, further improvising to embark on the logic of emancipation. Meanwhile the incubated entrepreneur labelled as ‘losers’ suggested that the control should be put ‘in good hands’ and ‘to good use’. It calls for a genuine change – we call it emancipation - in the way the coaches are accompanying the entrepreneurs throughout the development of their own ventures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41039OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41039DiVA, id: diva2:1234206
Conference
38th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), June 6-9, 2018, Waterford, Ireland
Available from: 2018-07-23 Created: 2018-07-23 Last updated: 2018-07-23Bibliographically approved

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Akhter, Naveed

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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