The determinants of social change, including entrepreneurs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter outlines an account of the ultimate determinants of social change and uses this account to clarify how far and under what conditions entrepreneurs can be responsible for change. The chapter opens with a short discussion of the nature of social change. It then clarifies the contrast between individualist and nonindividualist approaches to change before developing a practice theoretical analogue to the micro-meso-macro levels on which many theorists locate the processes, mechanisms, or principles alleged to determine social change: lives, practices, and constellations of practice. Following this, the chapter presents the account of change developed in a recent book of mine, according to which social changes arise from nexuses of activity chains and material events/processes. I explain how this account locates the determinants of change on none of the three above "levels." The concluding section addresses the causal significance of entrepreneurs, using the above account to show that entrepreneurs can be responsible for change only in restricted circumstances, that they are never solely responsible for change, and that the principal sort of change for which they share responsibility is the advent of "new" phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Entrepreneurship as Practice
Subtitle of host publicationHandbooks of Business and Management Research as Practice
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781788976831
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Neil Aaron Thompson, Orla Byrne, Anna Jenkins and Bruce T. Teague 2022 All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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