Group conditions for entrepreneurial visions

An essential part of entrepreneurial activity is the drafting and narrating of an entrepre-
neurial vision. This study is premised on the observation that entrepreneurial groups form an interac-
tion arena for the practice of imagining the future and asks how the content of entrepreneurial visions
is shaped by the conditions of the group. Taking an entrepreneurship-as-practice lens, which we enrich
with sociological theory on the future (Beckert) and small groups (Fine), we engage in an in-depth case
study of 12 entrepreneurial groups. We show how the content of entrepreneurial visions is configured
by four elements (i.e., fictional expectation for the business or the group; future orientation that is con-
tinuing or divergent) and name two group conditions (i.e., role confidence and hierarchical congruence)
that direct their configuration. We propose that lacking role confidence can impede thinking about the
future of a business and that narrative hierarchies that challenge structural hierarchies can open a window
for divergent future orientation. This study contributes to a novel theoretical understanding of where entrepreneurial visions come from by emphasizing politics of expectations within groups and calling to
consider group conditions as a relevant context for entrepreneurial visions.

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