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Bounded emotionality in entrepreneurship: an alternative framework

Kelum Jayasinghe Dennis Thomas (School of Management and Business, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, UK)
Danture Wickramasinghe (Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




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.



Jayasinghe Dennis Thomas, K. and Wickramasinghe, D. (2008), "Bounded emotionality in entrepreneurship: an alternative framework", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 242-258.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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