Unpacking collective judging practices in entrepreneurial pitching competitions: a social practice perspective

Lars Hamacher, Jarrod Ormiston, Y.D. Iren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Previous research on entrepreneurial pitching has tended to explain pitching outcomes based on judges' perceptions of both entrepreneurs and their business plans. This focus on judges' perceptions of entrepreneurs fails to appreciate the social practices that play out between judges as they attempt to reach a consensus in their decisions. This research thereby contributes to the fields of entrepreneurial pitching and practice studies of entrepreneurship by unpacking the social practices involved as groups of judges actually make their decisions. The study draws on audio recordings of judging discussions at a three-day hackathon event involving 250 contestants across 30 entrepreneurial teams. Through conversational analysis, we zoom in on the relational and temporal conversational practices that play out in judging discussions to understand how judges move from individual perceptions of pitches towards consensus decisions. Our findings reveal the conversational turns that play out in judging discussions and highlight three dominant practices that shape collective decisions: Alliance Building, Politicking, and Undermining.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Entrepreneurship as Practice
EditorsNeil Aaron Thompson, Orla Byrne, Anna Jenkins, Bruce T. Teague
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781788976831
ISBN (Print)9781788976824
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


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