Imagined Futures of Sail and Steam: The Role of Community in Envisioning Entrepreneurial Ventures

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Entrepreneurship is often understood as an individualistic endeavour. This article investigates how cultural communities shape entrepreneurial activity through the process of envisioning competing imagined futures. By deploying a microhistorical approach, it explores a public debate about the transition from sail to steam in a late nineteenth-century Danish maritime community. In the debate, local actors evaluated and negotiated future entrepreneurial actions as embedded in existing norms, interpretations of the past, and socio-technical systems rather than independent, non-conformist ventures. The article demonstrates the potential role of community when we attempt to understand better how entrepreneurs construct and dispute over imagined futures.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBusiness History
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)386-406
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 13 May 2022.


    • Entrepreneurship
    • Community
    • Imagined futures
    • Socio-technical systems
    • Maritime industry
    • Transition from sail to steam

    Cite this