Navigating Tensions of Entrepreneuring through Liminal Space

Lo, Amadou; Fatien, Pauline; Dey, Pascal (1 December 2022). Navigating Tensions of Entrepreneuring through Liminal Space (Unpublished). In: Paper Development Workshop (PDW) for the Human Relations Special Issue on ‘Organization-Creation: Theorizing the Processes and Practices of Entrepreneuring at Work’. Paris. December 1, 2022.

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While research on entrepreneuring – the everyday practices and processes of entrepreneurship – has recognized tensions caused by competing demands as elemental parts of the entrepreneurial journey, little scholarly attention has been paid to how the spaces in which entrepreneurs work affect their ability to deal with them. In response, our research seeks to explore the role of space in facilitating the navigation of the tensions underlying the entrepreneurial process. Based on a longitudinal study of “Le Square”, an ephemeral and collectively governed workspace hosting 22 start-up ventures, we show that spaces that support entrepreneuring are those capable of accommodating the competing demands underlying processes of entrepreneuring. Specifically, situating our study in contemporary theories of space, and the burgeoning literature on liminality, we highlight how liminal characteristics of the workspace affords entrepreneurs three functions (polyvalent space, adaptative social support, and semi-formal context) conducive to effectively addressing the contradictory yet interconnected elements of three entrepreneurial tensions – strategic, methodological, and relational. The main contribution of our study is to cultivate sensitivity to how specific features of workspaces can be generative for entrepreneuring by enabling the two sides of common tensions to co-exist.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Business School > Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship > Low-end Innovation
Business School


Lo, Amadou;
Fatien, Pauline and
Dey, Pascal0000-0003-2792-0061


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)




Pascal Dey

Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2023 09:33

Last Modified:

10 Oct 2023 21:46

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Case study; space; entrepreneuring; liminality; tensions




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