The Special Issue “Entrepreneurship, Scholarship, and Fundamental Uncertainty: The Need for Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development” we launched in the journal of Sustainability aims to bring forward the urge for scholars to act, particularly in the field of sustainability. For submission (DL 15.12.2021, see more from the call at Sustainability journal website.
Special Issue Information
The current climate of ecological, social, and economic crises has created a shock that has disrupted all aspects of society, including both academic and entrepreneurial environments. Entrepreneurs, affected by changing identities and values, are pivoting against the unknown (Ratten, 2020) while seeking learning possibilities (Prommer et al., 2020) and more often are incorporating the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their ventures’ missions. For academia, there are more urgent calls for scholars to act in support of crisis-hit societies, as highlighted by Kuckertz et al. (2020): to move forward with responding to the current crisis, it will not be enough to wait for things to go back “to normal”.
The first wave of the pandemic might have passed soon; however, our reality has changed permanently. As a result, we have collectively entered a period of fundamental uncertainty (Aven and Bouder, 2020). The philosophical starting point of the Special Issue lies in this uncertainty, where research on uncertainty and entrepreneurial action (Townsend et al., 2018) is complicated by the fact that entrepreneurs’ actions effectively shape the surrounding entrepreneurial landscape. Thus, now more than ever, there is a need for novel solutions that aim both to scientifically study and to offer practical solutions to support businesses in becoming more sustainable.
Many strata of existing research have encountered increasing criticism around the lack of contextual sensitivity, where recently Tourish (2020) in management sciences and Shepherd (2020) in entrepreneurship called the disciplines to pivot or re-invent themselves. In the discipline of entrepreneurship, this notion has been accelerated with more frequent calls for scholar activism work (Ratten, 2020; Shepherd, 2020), defined as the aim for creative, positive social change as a major goal. It is embedded with an assumption of a responsibility to connect intellectualism and knowledge with practical action (Tilley and Taylor, 2014) where, as literature about scholar activism admits, “scholarly activism in academic institutions is rare” (Greenwood, 2008; Tilley and Taylor, 2014). Action competence has, indeed, become a key competence in and for sustainability.
In supporting the rare to become more common, this Special Issue aims to highlight multidisciplinary approaches to examine, explore, and challenge existing notions of scholarship and entrepreneurship, within the theme of sustainable development. We welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines with mixed methods, where the covered topics of uncertainty, sustainability, and entrepreneurship—both as a scholarship and practice—intersect to better equip our thinking and action for the changed reality. Studies exploring sustainable innovations under conditions of fundamental uncertainty (that include and go beyond the COVID-hit environments), and for sustainably coping with these uncertain environments are welcomed. Research that aims to extend theory to practice, apply action research, or bring forward the discussion on scholarly activism within the theme of this Special Issue is appreciated.
Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.
Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä Guest Editor
Dr. Virva Salmivaara Guest Editor
Dr. Niclas Sandström Guest Editor
Ms. Emma Sandström Guest Editor