The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Negotiating entrepreneurial identity: communities of practice and changing discourses

Warren, L. (2004) Negotiating entrepreneurial identity: communities of practice and changing discourses The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 5, (1), pp. 25-35.

Record type: Article


This paper focuses on the negotiation of identity in case studies of four women undergoing career change in the UK. The triple nexus between identity as a reflexive journey, entrepreneurship as a social process and communities of practice is established and provides a powerful means of exploring the dynamics of the entrepreneurial transition. The paper examines how identity is constructed and reconstructed during their trajectory from one mode of work to another, as they acknowledged, and were acknowledged by, shifting communities of practice. The central argument of the paper is that the women were at times constituted as entrepreneurs by a powerful discourse, but that their first priority was to be recognized and legitimized as professionals as they engaged with particular communities of practice. Further, they rework these discourses with an impact not just at the level of their own individual experience, but also at network level through interaction with their community of practice. The study uses narrative analysis to provide insights into the processes and practices that have constituted their experience. The purpose of the paper is to contribute to an understanding of the early stages of entrepreneurial activity; this may be of benefit to policy makers, support services and educators, as well as the academic community. Theoretically, it is demonstrated that the notion of the community of practice has value in developing a processual understanding of the entrepreneurial transition.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 February 2004
Keywords: entrepreneur, women, identity, community of practice, narrative


Local EPrints ID: 37047
ISSN: 1465-7503
PURE UUID: bd1e0a5d-1e9a-486b-a92c-89104aab95f2

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:43

Export record


Author: L. Warren

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.