Lassie Shrugged: The Premise and Importance of Considering Non-Human Entrepreneurial Action
Hunt, R.A., Lerner, D.A. & Ortiz-Hunt, A.J. (2022). Lassie shrugged: The premise and importance of considering non-human entrepreneurial action. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Volume 17, e00298.
Hunt, Richard A.
While management and entrepreneurship scholars have displayed comfort in and receptivity towards anthropomorphizing organizations, technologies, and even algorithms, our field has not yet grappled with a mountain of empirical evidence gathered over decades of research in the natural sciences that non-humans may behave entrepreneurially. For reflection and valuable perspective, our study relaxes the central assumption that entrepreneurial behaviors are the exclusive domain of human beings. Doing so invites fresh insights concerning the transversal nature of entrepreneurial action, the biological origins of innovation and entrepreneurship, the categorical assumptions demarcating the field of entrepreneurship, and the persistent emphases on intendedly rational conceptions of entrepreneurial action. The inspiration for our study involves “moving back from the species,” as E.O. Wilson advised. Through this “more distanced view” and by focusing on the reproducible benefits of entrepreneurship rather than narrower, human-centric conceptions of firm formation and profit generation, we find that the consideration of non-human behaviors contributes to the evolving definitions and future study of entrepreneurial action.