Bounded emotionality in entrepreneurship: An alternative framework

Kelum Jayasinghe, Dennis Thomas, Danture Wickramasinghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


The purpose of this paper is to advocate the employment of “bounded emotionality”, as borrowed from organisational studies on emotionality, as an alternative framework to examine and understand entrepreneurial behaviour and practice.

The authors review the debate and trends in entrepreneurship research with particular regard to structure and agency. They then argue that the application of Mumby and Putnam's concept of “bounded emotionality” strengthens the critical tradition and particularly contributes to that strand which utilises Giddens' structuration theory by explicitly treating the emotional aspects of entrepreneurial behaviour that operate outside the consciousness of individual agency.

The adoption of an alternative methodological framework, involving “bounded emotionality”, within a broad socio‐cutural and political‐economic perspective, can assist policy makers to rethink their generalised approach to the design and implementation of specific programmes and initiatives to support entrepreneurial development in favour of devising alternative approaches to fit particular contexts and localised settings.

Research limitations/implications
This theoretical paper contributes to the critical debate in entrepreneurial research, which advocates the need for an alternative, more socialised approach that attempts to account for the relationship between social structure and individual entrepreneurial action.

The paper contains the first attempt to apply the concept of “bounded rationality” to entrepreneurship research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-258
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2008


  • Behaviour
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Psychology


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