Humanistic Approaches to Change: Entrepreneurship and Transformation

Christina Lubinski*, R. Daniel Wadhwani, William B. Gartner, Renee Rottner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Social transformation is core to the idea of entrepreneurship, yet it plays a minor role in entrepreneurship research. We explore humanistic approaches to change by building on the Schumpeterian perspective of transformation/creative destruction and expanding it in three critical ways. First, we argue that entrepreneurship and history should engage methodologically with transformation ‘as a perspective’ taken by the researcher or observer. Second, we contend that to explore the process of entrepreneurial transformation historically, it is necessary to engage in a broader conceptualisation of temporality. Third, we posit that to fully grasp transformation, we ought to study not just the reconfiguration of material resources that Schumpeter has proposed but also the immaterial (intellectual and imaginative) re-evaluations that trigger social transformation, thus focussing on the semantics of transformation. The articles in this Special Issue explore entrepreneurship and transformation through these three lenses, making social transformation more central to historical entrepreneurship research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness History
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 26 May 2023


  • Change
  • Transformation
  • Schumpeter
  • Temporality
  • Creative destruction
  • Entrepreneurial history

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