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Abstract

TONELLI, Dany Flávio; BRITO, Mozar José de  and  ZAMBALDE, André Luiz. Entrepreneurship from the actor-network theory perspective: exploring alternatives beyond the subjectivism and objectivism. Cad. EBAPE.BR [online]. 2011, vol.9, n.spe1, pp. 586-603. ISSN 1679-3951.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-39512011000600008.

This paper aims to analyze entrepreneurship by exploring the theoretical and methodological implications proposed by the Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Broadly speaking, we considered two theoretical perspectives for entrepreneurship: the subjectivist and the objectivist. The subjectivist perspective emphasizes the individual, with his skills and inherent abilities. Less explored in the literature, the objectivist perspective emphasizes the material aspects of the environment that cause entrepreneurship. Considering both, the main limitation is the little importance that each side gives to the influence of the other in the overall analysis of the processes. This theoretical evidence reveals asymmetries, which display the insertion of the ANT application. Disregarding the duality imposed by the initial perspectives, the ANT enabled the exploration of new possibilities for understanding through the concept of "symmetry" (BLOOR 1976; LATOUR 2005; LATOUR e WOOLGAR, 1997). In this way, the ANT considers all entities as hybrids: they are formed at the same time from subjectivity and objectivity. This argument is divergent with the asymmetric way of accessing the reality, which reproduces a dual vision of it, even recognizing that both subjective and objective aspects contribute to the success or failure of entrepreneurial initiatives. Thus, entrepreneurship requires the mobilization of diverse assemblages around itself, which necessitates the gathering of several allies who will be part of a negotiated movement and translations of interests. Uncovering this movement reveals the multiplicity of relationships that involves, for instance, political, social, economic, cultural, scientific and technological factors, as well as the protagonists who, in history, usually are considered entrepreneurs.

Keywords : Entrepreneurship; Actor-Network Theory; Symmetry; David Bloor; Bruno Latour.

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