The Social Construction of Entrepreneurs and the Evaluation of Innovative Start-ups

My research addresses issues of economic and organizational sociology with special regard to (1) the social construction of entrepreneurship and innovation as well as (2) the management of innovation, trust, and reputation in the social context and process of “entrepreneuring”. Problems of uncertainty and social coordination are main issues challenging both sociology as well as economics. Therefore, a focal point of my studies is on researching entrepreneurship and innovation from an interdisciplinary point of view.

I am especially interested in the following questions:

  • How are “innovative” ideas, products and services, as well as “entrepreneurial” practices identified, evaluated, and valued by economic actors?
  • How important are trust relationships in early stages of business development, especially in the context of dynamic social interaction processes in business pitches where entrepreneurs and start-ups meet potential investors (like “business angels” or investors of venture capital)?
  • How do economic actors cope with problems of uncertainty, ambiguity, and paradoxical requirements of trust and control, deviation (uniqueness) and conformity (efficiency and profitability)?
  • Which “orders of worth”, coordination devices, and methods of (e)valuation do economic actors use to make legitimate and efficient decisions about the trustworthiness of exchange partners as well as the value and worth of unique entrepreneurs, innovations, and start-ups?
  • How should the “social construction” of entrepreneurship and innovation be analyzed using mixed methods from “qualitative” and “quantitative” social research to examine the social processes of “doing” entrepreneurship and innovations?
The findings will help to understand how entrepreneurial practices and innovations are evaluated, how entrepreneurship is socially constructed as an important field in the development of economies, and which role trust plays especially in early stages of the dynamic social processes of “entrepreneuring”.

Contact Person
Dr. Michael Florian
Prof. Dr. Christian Lüthje
Completed Research Projects
Dr. Florian's completed research projects at the Institute of Technology and Society