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Title: The emergence of UK environmental entrepreneurs : a practice theory view on mindset and constraints
Author: Outsios, Georgios
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 266X
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis contributes to our knowledge on the emergence of environmental entrepreneurs. The study is guided by the research question, “how do UK environmental entrepreneurs start to form their distinctive environmental entrepreneurial thinking” and analyses the development of the environmental entrepreneurial mindset in the UK, through a theory of practice perspective. Based on a three-stage data collection process (preliminary focus group, semi-structured interviews and life stories), the study (1) conceptualises the construction of the environmental entrepreneurial mindset, (2) investigates the experiences of constraints for practice and (3) analyses differences in habitus and constraints on the basis of the sampling dimensions, type (social environmental and commercial) and gender (male and female). The study was undertaken under a social constructivist perspective and follows the naturalistic paradigm (Guba, 1978). The rigour (or trustworthiness) of the qualitative approach has been established according to perspectives by Mason (2001) and Guba and Lincoln (1985). The empirical basis of the study is comprised of a three stage design of discursive interviews, involving overlapping collective (focus group) and individual (life stories, in-depth interviews) data collection techniques, with a partly gathering structure (through semi-structured questions). A preliminary focus group identified key themes relevant to the study’s objectives and the concepts of the theory of practice (field, capital, and habitus). Three life stories refined the themes and analysed them within the context of entrepreneurs’ lives. The two stages enabled the development of questions targeting themes for the in-depth interviews and the cross case content analysis. For sampling purposes, the Maximum Variation Sampling (MVS) strategy was employed, which enabled identification and analysis of common and divergent themes (Miller & Crabtree, 1999) and by over-coming the limitations of the sample size, it provided a conditional representativeness. The findings show that environmental entrepreneurs accumulate divergent forms of cultural, social and economic capital, which shapes their entrepreneurial and environmental mindsets, triggering the creation of a disposition (habitus) towards setting up an environmental enterprise. Studying the formation of the environmental entrepreneurial mindset addresses a relevant knowledge gap and offers theoretical and methodological contributions. It also confers implications for practice, with a particular reference to entrepreneurial education and policymaking.
Supervisor: Kittler, Markus; Ball, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental entrepreneurs ; Sustainable entrepreneurs ; Environmental entrepreneurial mindset ; Ecopreneurs ; Gender and sustainable entrepreneurship ; Social and Commercial entrepreneurs ; Environmental entrepreneurial habitus ; Sustainable entrepreneurship ; Sustainable entrepreneurial habitus ; Sustainable entrepreneurial mindset ; Bourdieu's Theory of Practice and sustainable entrepreneurship ; Economic development Environmental aspects ; Industrial management|xEnvironmental aspects ; Renewable energy sources Economic aspects