Philip T. Roundy, Summerfeld Johnston Centennial Scholar, UC Foundaton Assistant Professor, Department of Marketng and Entrepreneurship, Gary W. Rollins College of Business, University of Tennessee (Chatanooga), 615 McCallie Avenue, Chatanooga, TN 37403-2598, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Arben Asllani, Marvin E. White Professor of Management, Department of Management, Gary W. Rollins College of Business, University of Tennessee (Chatanooga), 615 McCallie Avenue, Chatanooga, TN 37403-2598, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract

Scholars are devotng heightened atenton to the language of entrepreneurship and to its influence on the cogniton, behaviors, and outcomes of entrepreneurs and their stakeholders. However, the primary themes that consttute entrepreneurs’ language are unexamined. In this partally-inductve study, we identfy the most common themes in entrepreneurship discourse and explore how they have changed over tme. To map the themes in entrepreneurs’ language, we use data analytc techniques coupled with text mining algorithms to analyze a longitudinal corpus of entrepreneurial discourse. Our fndings reveal fve dominant and recurring themes in entrepreneurship discourse – marketng actvites, technology-oriented entrepreneurship, digital entrepreneurship, professional investment, and new venture entrepreneurship – and illustrate how these themes are evolving. By examining the key themes in the discourse of entrepreneurs and chartng their transformaton over tme, our study makes theoretcal and methodological contributons to entrepreneurship research. We identfy the areas where the academic literature seems to be lagging practtoner discussions and suggest that scholars should evaluate research for how closely topics are calibrated with the main themes in the discourse of entrepreneurs. Our fndings also produce practcal implicatons for entrepreneurs by identfying the main themes receiving atenton, which allows entrepreneurs to evaluate if the topics that comprise their day-to-day discourse align with the themes emphasized in the larger body of entrepreneurship discourse.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial communicaton; discourse; text analysis; data analytcs