Images of entrepreneurship: exploring root metaphors and expanding upon them

Erik Lundmark*, Anna Krzeminska, Dean Shepherd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)138-170
Number of pages33
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • paradigm
  • Reflexivity
  • Reframing
  • Research Agenda
  • Review
  • Root Metaphors


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