A Grounded Theory of Preneurial Agency in Information Technology Creation
The purpose of this study was to examine how entrepreneurs act to bring an Information Technology-based innovation into being. Successful realisation of such innovations requires collective effort, involving resources and actors both internal and external to the entrepreneur‘s own venture (Van de Ven, 1993a, 2005; Lavie, 2006). The study is qualitative in nature and uses the Glaserian variant of the grounded theory method to collect and analyse data obtained from interviewing entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and collective agents involved in creating IT innovation. Through undertaking open, selective, and theoretical coding and the process of constant comparative analysis, the research produces a substantive theory for explaining: A Grounded Theory of Preneurial Agency in IT Creation. The Grounded Theory of Preneurial Agency in IT Creation accounts for the actions of both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who are jointly called ―preneurs‖ within this study, and their interaction with collective agents to create IT innovation. The process of preneurial agency, the actions the preneur undertakes to create the innovative idea and make it a tangible reality, is shown as a triality involving the combined agency of the preneur and collective agents interacting within social structures established by the preneur. To support this abstracted view of entrepreneurship, the study develops and defines a family of terms to describe the process of preneurship, the preneur, preneurial agency, and the preneurial ba within which the actors interact to create IT-based innovation. The value of the research lies in its view of the preneur‘s process of transition from entrepreneur to intrapreneur and to institutional actor; and how the actions of both the entrepreneur and intrapreneur to create IT innovation can be shown in an abstracted process of preneurial agency. It is expected that through the application of a specific set of actions, presented in The Grounded Theory of Preneurial Agency in IT Creation as six theoretical propositions, practitioners will be better able to inform their practice, and enhance the self management of their preneurial agency and interaction with collective agents.