Images of Entrepreneurship: Exploring Root Metaphors and Expanding Upon Them

Erik Lundmark, Anna Krzeminska, Dean A. Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing recognition of the importance of metaphors to theory development, metaphors’ influence on entrepreneurship theorizing has been largely unexplored. This is problematic because a field’s metaphors shape its underlying assumptions. This study takes stock of the entrepreneurship field through its metaphors by analyzing a corpus of highly cited entrepreneurship articles. We identify and explain eight root metaphors for entrepreneurship—parenthood, mutagen, conduit of knowledge, method, mindset, networking, exploration, and politics—underpinning the mainstream of the field. We then extend and combine the metaphors to develop a research agenda for building on the metaphors and moving beyond them.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalEntrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)138-170
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • paradigm
  • Research Agenda
  • Reframing
  • Root Metaphors
  • Review
  • Reflexivity

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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