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Constructions of entrepreneurship: a discourse analysis of academic publications

Karin Berglund (School of Business, Mälardalen University, Sweden)
Anders W. Johansson (School of Business, Mälardalen University, Sweden)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 3 April 2007




The purpose of this research paper is to investigate opposing versions of entrepreneurship and to introduce a metaphor to stimulate a dialogue about the diversity and complexity of enterprising communities.


A discourse framework is developed in order to describe dominating – and even new and challenging – versions of entrepreneurship. The discourse analysis is presented in three steps: the introductory text to a handbook of entrepreneurship is deconstructed to expose some basic assumptions of entrepreneurship; drawing on several research articles, some dominating versions of entrepreneurship are analysed; drawing on research articles which have recently been published in two special issues in entrepreneurship journals, alternative versions of entrepreneurship are analysed.


This paper compares three dominating and three alternative versions of entrepreneurship. All the versions are related to the idea of entrepreneurship as a story of creation for our times, where it is implied that entrepreneurship appears to be something inherently good for society and for people. The versions share a common denominator but are also distinguished by different ontological and epistemological assumptions that make a dialogue between the versions problematic.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this research paper have obvious limitations because of the methodology employed and due to the limited number of texts analysed.


The concept of a discursive web to analyse the world of entrepreneurship is introduced.



Berglund, K. and Johansson, A.W. (2007), "Constructions of entrepreneurship: a discourse analysis of academic publications", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 77-102.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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