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Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis / HELEN WILLIAMS

Swansea University Author: HELEN WILLIAMS

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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.59469

Abstract

The aim of this study is to better understand how entrepreneurs become employers. Taking a phenomenological position, my research uses a co-creative methodology to explore transitions from entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer. Job creation is commonly cited as a benefit of entrepreneurship (Birch,...

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Published: Swansea 2021
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Pritchard, Katrina ; Miller, Maggie C. ; Reed, Cara
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59469
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first_indexed 2022-02-28T13:48:10Z
last_indexed 2022-03-01T04:29:04Z
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spelling 2022-02-28T15:53:20.8783672 v2 59469 2022-02-28 Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 20e15ac9c91525701224f9c1b309b050 HELEN WILLIAMS HELEN WILLIAMS true false 2022-02-28 The aim of this study is to better understand how entrepreneurs become employers. Taking a phenomenological position, my research uses a co-creative methodology to explore transitions from entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer. Job creation is commonly cited as a benefit of entrepreneurship (Birch, 1979; Acs, 2006), yet little is known about the transition to entrepreneur-employer. Recent estimates highlight that many UK enterprises are classified as non-employing businesses, comprising the founder only (ONS, 2020). This suggests that while a high proportion of individuals enter self-employment, growth presents a significant challenge for many (Coad et al., 2017). Extant research investigating the entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer transition is predominantly functionalist, reinforcing commonly held beliefs that entrepreneurship is a desirable economic activity (Dvouletý, 2018). In response, I sought to apply a qualitative approach. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a guiding framework, I explore the lived experiences of six female and four male entrepreneur-employers in South Wales. My contribution to the entrepreneurship field is twofold. Firstly, my findings reflect an uglier reality to job-creation than is readily visible in the mainstream entrepreneurship literature. Perceiving it as a double-edged sword, participants juxtaposed common entrepreneurial narratives against their everyday realties. Becoming an employer introduced a level of relationality, exposing participants to systems demanding conformity rather than entrepreneurial diversity. Second, methodologically I demonstrate how the use of a co-creative method is a valuable tool for accessing complex and nuanced entrepreneurial experiences. Participants universally expressed frustration at being suspended in what I interpret as a liminal state. Drawing on relevant literature, I theorise that this is particularly felt within neoliberal post-industrial contexts. I conclude that, for my participants, negotiating the gap between mainstream entrepreneurial narratives, and their lived entrepreneurial experiences, was a significant factor in moving beyond the critical entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer transition. E-Thesis Swansea Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs, Neoliberalism, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 24 2 2021 2021-02-24 10.23889/SUthesis.59469 ORCiD identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8712-8397 COLLEGE NANME COLLEGE CODE Swansea University Pritchard, Katrina ; Miller, Maggie C. ; Reed, Cara Doctoral Ph.D Swansea University 2022-02-28T15:53:20.8783672 2022-02-28T12:45:54.9694653 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences School of Management - Business Management HELEN WILLIAMS 1 59469__22483__0358cf172dfa405ea1007b1a4f06d63e.pdf Williams_Helen_C_PhD_Thesis_Final_Redacted_Signatures.pdf 2022-02-28T15:48:38.7757718 Output 6861585 application/pdf E-Thesis – open access true Copyright: The author, Helen C. Williams, 2021. true eng
title Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
spellingShingle Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
HELEN WILLIAMS
title_short Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
title_full Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
title_fullStr Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
title_full_unstemmed Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
title_sort Entrepreneurial Experiences of Becoming an Employer: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
author_id_str_mv 20e15ac9c91525701224f9c1b309b050
author_id_fullname_str_mv 20e15ac9c91525701224f9c1b309b050_***_HELEN WILLIAMS
author HELEN WILLIAMS
author2 HELEN WILLIAMS
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publishDate 2021
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.23889/SUthesis.59469
college_str Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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hierarchy_top_id facultyofhumanitiesandsocialsciences
hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofhumanitiesandsocialsciences
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
department_str School of Management - Business Management{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Management - Business Management
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description The aim of this study is to better understand how entrepreneurs become employers. Taking a phenomenological position, my research uses a co-creative methodology to explore transitions from entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer. Job creation is commonly cited as a benefit of entrepreneurship (Birch, 1979; Acs, 2006), yet little is known about the transition to entrepreneur-employer. Recent estimates highlight that many UK enterprises are classified as non-employing businesses, comprising the founder only (ONS, 2020). This suggests that while a high proportion of individuals enter self-employment, growth presents a significant challenge for many (Coad et al., 2017). Extant research investigating the entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer transition is predominantly functionalist, reinforcing commonly held beliefs that entrepreneurship is a desirable economic activity (Dvouletý, 2018). In response, I sought to apply a qualitative approach. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a guiding framework, I explore the lived experiences of six female and four male entrepreneur-employers in South Wales. My contribution to the entrepreneurship field is twofold. Firstly, my findings reflect an uglier reality to job-creation than is readily visible in the mainstream entrepreneurship literature. Perceiving it as a double-edged sword, participants juxtaposed common entrepreneurial narratives against their everyday realties. Becoming an employer introduced a level of relationality, exposing participants to systems demanding conformity rather than entrepreneurial diversity. Second, methodologically I demonstrate how the use of a co-creative method is a valuable tool for accessing complex and nuanced entrepreneurial experiences. Participants universally expressed frustration at being suspended in what I interpret as a liminal state. Drawing on relevant literature, I theorise that this is particularly felt within neoliberal post-industrial contexts. I conclude that, for my participants, negotiating the gap between mainstream entrepreneurial narratives, and their lived entrepreneurial experiences, was a significant factor in moving beyond the critical entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer transition.
published_date 2021-02-24T04:09:23Z
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