Social Dynamics in Entrepreneurship

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
¢ explain and summarize the background, nature, and central concepts of
the research of organizing processes underlying entrepreneurial
activities, both theoretically and methodologically, to peers,
colleagues and entrepreneurs (K1-K4).;
¢ analyze, differentiate, and organize academic knowledge of and insight
into the social construction of the entrepreneurial identity and the
soci(et)al implications of that construction process. (K2);
¢ evaluate strengths and weaknesses of deconstructing business ideas in
terms of the underlying sensemaking processes (K5-K6).
¢ ability to assess, produce, and develop innovative, viable,
high-quality research-based ideas (i.e.: organizing entrepreneurship) to
solve case-based problems (SE1);
¢ use knowledge and skills to assess which organizing processes are
required to turn business ideas into (social) reality (SA2-SA7;K6, K7);
¢ work independently on assignments, reflect on his/her own work and on
the work of his/her peers that span a range of disciplines (A1-A3);

Inhoud vak

This course looks at entrepreneurship as a process (entrepreneuring)
which is enacted by people with diverse backgrounds and goals, shaped by
societal, cultural and political contexts. In that respect,
entrepreneurship is regarded as embedded in the general processes of
ongoing social interaction in which people organize the entire society.
The course is designed in the paradigm of social constructionist
organization theory (Peverelli & Verduyn, 2012), which regards
organizing as a continuous process of ongoing social interaction between
actors in their quest to make sense of the world. One consequence of
that process is the emergence of social groups of various degrees of
formality and complexity. Members of a social group derive a social
identity from that membership. Individuals are included in several
groups, providing multple social identities. The emerging
entrepreneurial identity of starting entrepreneurs is informed by a
number of identities shaped in different stages of the entrepreneur's
life. This course combines social constructionist organization theory
with life story analysis (McAdams, 2008) as a method to reconstruct the
emerging entrepreneurial identity of an entrepreneur. Students will
practice that method by interviewing an entrepreneur and write an essay
about a life story analysis of that entrepreneur.


This is a 4-week course (3 ETCS - 84 Hours). The hours are assigned to 3
types of activities: reading to prepare for the sessions, attending the
sessions and working on the assignment. The bulk of the prescribed
reading is linked to the first session. The time assigned to reading
will decrease while that allocated to working on the assignment will
increase in the course of the month. Sessions will take place once in
the first 3 weeks. Time allocated to the assignment includes
possibilities to have a private session with the instructor to discuss
various problems. The 4th week is dedicated to finalizing the life story
analysis. This course does not include classic lectures. Students are
expected to have familiarized themselves with the prescribed literature
before the session. There will be time for asking questions.

Week Activities Hours
Week 1
Preparation Reading prescribed literature 20
Lecture Attending session 2
Assignment Identifying suitable entrepreneur 8

Week 2
Preparation Reading prescribed literature 8
Lecture Attending session 2
Assignment Interviewing entrepreneur 12

Week 3
Preparation Reading prescribed literature 8
Lecture Attending session 2
Assignment Writing life story analysis 12

Week 4
Finalizing life story analysis 10

Total 84


The learning goals will be assessed through an individual essay
containing the life story analysis of a beginning entrepreneur. The
final essay should include the following sections:
¢ Title Page (1 page): indicating the name of the student, the
name/enterprise of the entrepreneurs, student name, student number and
e-mail address.
¢ Introduction (1 page): an introduction of the entrepreneur, his/her
enterprise and relevant business sector.
¢ Life story (5 -6 pages): description of the life story of the
entrepreneur with a network graph mapping the social identities of the
entrepreneur that contributed to the development of the entrepreneurial
identity for each life chapter.
¢ Analysis (2 pages): analysis of the gradual construction of the
entrepreneurial identity of the entrepreneur from the influence of
multiple inclusions.
¢ References
Layout guidelines: A4 page format, Times New Roman 12pt, 1.5pt line
spacing. All sources for the assignment should be listed in a reference
section at the end of each assignment. References should comply with the
formatting conventions of the American Psychological Association (APA
style). Details on APA formatting can readily be found on the internet.
For example, have a look at (Links to an
external site.)Links to an external site. English) or
(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (in Dutch)
You need at least grade 5.5 to pass the course.

If you fail the course (less than 5.5), you can improve by submitting a
revision of the individual assignment before 31-March (9.00) by email to
the coordinator of the course. You can then earn the maximum of a 6.0 on
the revision assessment. The right to take a resit pertains to the
overall result. Students are allowed to take a resit when the final
result is a pass, but in this case, the last grade counts.

Vereiste voorkennis

Since this is a Master of Science program, proven experience in academic
writing and demonstrable knowledge of research methods are strict
requirements. Students must have a sound knowledge of research
methodology, and a broad academic foundation in business administration.
We expect discussions at a high level with a lot of enthusiasm during
the session. The knowledge and ability to recognize, utilize, and
combine multiple theoretical perspectives towards entrepreneurship. Also
see program entry requirements (


Peverelli P.J. & Verduyn, K. (2012). Understanding the Basic Dynamics of
Organizing, Delft: Eburon.

Toelichting Canvas

The course uses the VU Amsterdam Canvas to coordinate students'
activities. Please submit assignments to the appropriate folder.

Algemene informatie

Studiepunten 3 EC
Periode P3
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit School of Business and Economics
Vakcoördinator dr. P.J. Peverelli
Examinator dr. P.J. Peverelli

Praktische informatie

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Werkvormen Hoorcollege, Werkgroep

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