G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

The Journeys of Becoming and Being an International Entrepreneur : A Narrative Inquiry of the “I” in International Entrepreneurship

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Korhonen Satu
Publishing place: Lappeenranta
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
ISBN: 978-952-335-557-6
eISBN: 978-952-335-558-3
ISSN: 1456-4491
JUFO-Level of this publication:
Permanent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-335-558-3
Open Access: Open Access publication


This doctoral study was conducted as an inquiry of the international
entrepreneur in order to balance off the domination of firm-level
studies and limited discussion of the individual as the initial driver
in the international entrepreneurship phenomenon (IE). Two research
questions guide the study: ‘How do individuals make sense of themselves
as becoming and being international entrepreneurs?’ and ‘How to theorise
of individuals becoming and being international entrepreneurs through a
narrative approach?’. With a processual view of the phenomenon, this
study embraces IE as a journey and approaches histories and sense-making
of individuals through narrative inquiry, paying attention to the
different efforts by which entrepreneurs (and researchers)
contextualize—and constitute—the personal-level IE journeys. The
qualitative dataset consists of interviews and historical data. Data
analysis builds on ‘hermeneutic reasoning’, suggesting that meanings and
implications of journeys individuals have undertaken can be better
grasped after they have unfolded in time. The findings in the four
publications construct the contribution of this article-based
dissertation. Publications I, II and III embrace narrative sense-making
as meaning structure to past actions and lived events and illuminate how
the international entrepreneurial ‘self’ as an actor and agent in
retrospect manifests individuals as the ‘autobiographical authors’ in
regard to developmental, transitional and generational experiences and
their meanings in becoming and being an international entrepreneur. They
provide evidence of how the founders’ sense-making and identity work
feed into the behavioural orientations and ‘bounded and boundaryless’
career journeys of becoming and being international. Publications I, III
and IV are novel attempts to address empirically the social historic
process in which IE is embedded and its significance for the individual.
When analysed against the (inter)generational backdrop of individuals’
actions and life-events, we may trace how international entrepreneurs
are the protagonists of their own generations and leaving a legacy to
the next.

Last updated on 2020-22-12 at 11:57