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Bewitched by language: a Wittgensteinian analysis of the mystification over the opportunity concept

Bewitched by language: a Wittgensteinian analysis of the mystification over the opportunity concept
Bewitched by language: a Wittgensteinian analysis of the mystification over the opportunity concept
Expressions alluding to the existence of entrepreneurial opportunities are used unproblematically in ordinary language. However, the question “What is an entrepreneurial opportunity?” has posed a truly recalcitrant puzzle in the academic study of entrepreneurship. In response to this seemingly profound question there is a proliferation of publications promising to shed light to the nature of opportunities by means of empirical or philosophical discoveries. This perspective essay draws from Wittgensteinian philosophy to argue that there is no discovery to be made about the nature of opportunities besides reminding ourselves of the ordinary meaning of the word “opportunity”. Accordingly, Wittgensteinian insights help us appreciate that the impression that we are facing a profound theoretical puzzle is only a by-product of linguistic confusion. We submit that the bewitchment over entrepreneurial opportunities contributes an exemplar case study to organizational metatheory about the manner in which linguistic inattention can entrap our theoretical imagination in problematic questions and intellectual dead-ends. Moreover, our analysis helps reorient scholarly attention away from misled questions about opportunities, toward the various conditions of possibility presupposed by opportunity-talk.
Ramoglou, Efstratios
f3fffbf5-0f1f-46e1-93af-a13e18945610
McMullen, Jeffery S.
d2374544-f8a3-4f6c-b5f9-159d4144e28a
Tsoukas, Haridimos
f420dd9f-842d-451c-9a8f-9d3e3f459fdc
Ramoglou, Efstratios
f3fffbf5-0f1f-46e1-93af-a13e18945610
McMullen, Jeffery S.
d2374544-f8a3-4f6c-b5f9-159d4144e28a
Tsoukas, Haridimos
f420dd9f-842d-451c-9a8f-9d3e3f459fdc

Ramoglou, Efstratios, McMullen, Jeffery S. and Tsoukas, Haridimos (2020) Bewitched by language: a Wittgensteinian analysis of the mystification over the opportunity concept. Author's Original.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Expressions alluding to the existence of entrepreneurial opportunities are used unproblematically in ordinary language. However, the question “What is an entrepreneurial opportunity?” has posed a truly recalcitrant puzzle in the academic study of entrepreneurship. In response to this seemingly profound question there is a proliferation of publications promising to shed light to the nature of opportunities by means of empirical or philosophical discoveries. This perspective essay draws from Wittgensteinian philosophy to argue that there is no discovery to be made about the nature of opportunities besides reminding ourselves of the ordinary meaning of the word “opportunity”. Accordingly, Wittgensteinian insights help us appreciate that the impression that we are facing a profound theoretical puzzle is only a by-product of linguistic confusion. We submit that the bewitchment over entrepreneurial opportunities contributes an exemplar case study to organizational metatheory about the manner in which linguistic inattention can entrap our theoretical imagination in problematic questions and intellectual dead-ends. Moreover, our analysis helps reorient scholarly attention away from misled questions about opportunities, toward the various conditions of possibility presupposed by opportunity-talk.

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In preparation date: 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439393
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439393
PURE UUID: 8732b2b2-ccb5-42c4-a7e3-91cd8da7bfd2
ORCID for Efstratios Ramoglou: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5134-5525

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Date deposited: 21 Apr 2020 16:31
Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 01:41

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