Toward a Dynamic Learning Perspective of Entrepreneurship


Jason Cope, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, the Management School, Lancaster University, LA1 4YX, U.K.; Tel.: (+44) 01524 594860; email:


This conceptual article introduces a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship that builds upon existing “dominant” theoretical approaches to understanding entrepreneurial activity. As many aspects of entrepreneurial learning remain poorly understood, this article maps out and extends current boundaries of thinking regarding how entrepreneurs learn. It presents key conclusions from emergent empirical and conceptual work on the subject and synthesizes a broad range of contributory adult, management, and individual learning literature to develop a robust and integrated thematic conceptualization of entrepreneurial learning. Three distinctive, interrelated elements of entrepreneurial learning are proposed—dynamic temporal phases, interrelated processes, and overarching characteristics. The article concludes by demonstrating how a “learning lens” can be applied to create further avenues for research in entrepreneurship from a learning perspective.