Entrepreneurial learning: what do we mean by it?

Tadeu Fernando Nogueira (Division of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Nord Universitet – Bodo Campus, Bodo, Norway)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 24 July 2019



Given the growing recognition that learning plays a crucial role in entrepreneurship, this paper aims to systematically review the literature on entrepreneurial learning (EL), take account of its progress and analyze the unique characteristics of EL as a concept.


This paper uses a systematic approach to reviewing the literature on EL and critically assess the EL concept through the criteria of resonance, attributes (involving consistency, fecundity and differentiation), domain and causal utility.


A synthesis and assessment of extant literature reveals that a key challenge is the clear articulation of EL as a concept. This paper takes the first steps toward the specification of EL through a discussion of its unique properties. In this respect, the paper proposes the understanding of EL as an undertaking of entrepreneurial (i.e. proactive, exploratory and collaborative) learning behaviors (a crucial component of the EL concept) and recommends the context of new venture creation as an appropriate domain for the study of EL.

Research limitations/implications

This paper paves the way toward a more robust specification of EL as a concept.


This systematic literature review initiates a discussion about how EL literature can find convergence on key issues, thus helping the field move forward. It does so by articulating central attributes of the EL concept.



Nogueira, T. (2019), "Entrepreneurial learning: what do we mean by it?", The Learning Organization, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-04-2018-0067

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