From venture idea to venture formation: The role of sensemaking, sensegiving and sense receiving

Cherisse Hoyte, Hannah Noke, Simon Mosey, Susan Marlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores the sensemaking processes entrepreneurs use when transitioning between venture ideas and venture formation. Adopting a sensemaking/sensegiving approach and utilising an interpretivist methodology, we use sensemaking to analyse the entrepreneurial journey of four diverse entrepreneurs. In so doing, we make three contributions: first, we locate the early stages of the entrepreneurial context as a primary site where sensemaking occurs as entrepreneurs deal with the differences between expectations and reality. Second, we show how sensemaking occurs when entrepreneurs build a causal map of the problem they wish to address and how social exchanges are crucial as entrepreneurs then refine that idea with other sensegivers. Finally, we extend scholarly understanding through explaining the ways in which sensemaking, sensegiving and sense receiving contribute to the decision of entrepreneurs to act and create a new venture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-288
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • entrepreneurial process
  • new venture creation
  • sensegiving
  • sensemaking
  • venture ideas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management


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