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Entrepreneurship and poetry: analyzing an aesthetic dimension

Robert Smith (Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 17 August 2015



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the aesthetic dimension of entrepreneur poems. The notion of the entrepreneur as storyteller, and the entrepreneur story as cultural genres have become so firmly entrenched in the collective social consciousness that little consideration is given to the existence of other narrative genres, such as business poetry as expressions, or manifestations of enterprising behaviour and indeed identities. Poetry, like art, possesses aesthetic dimensions which make it difficult to theorize and analyze. Indeed, as a genre, poetry seldom features as a heuristic device for better understanding entrepreneurial behaviour or learning. This is surprising because poetry in particular is a wonderfully creative and expressive narrative medium and accordingly, many entrepreneurs engage in writing poetry as a form of creative expression.


In this study the author considers the entrepreneur as poet and from a reading of the literatures of entrepreneurship and aesthetics develops an aesthetic framework for analysing entrepreneur poetry which is used to analyze six poems written by entrepreneurs or about entrepreneurs.


That poetry has value in terms of entrepreneurial learning because of its atheoretical nature it permits listeners to experience the emotion and passion of lived entrepreneurial experiences and to relive these vicariously. In particular entrepreneur poems are a variant form of entrepreneur story devoid of the usual cliché.

Research limitations/implications

There are obvious limitations to the study in that the analysis of six poems can merely scratch the surface and that aesthetic analysis is by its very nature subjective and open to interpretation. The study opens up possibilities for further research into entrepreneur poems, the aesthetics of other non-standard entrepreneur narratives and consideration of the aesthetic elements of entrepreneurship per se. Poetics and aesthetics are areas of narrative understanding ripe for further empirical research.


The paper is original in terms of creating an aesthetic framework used to analyze entrepreneur poems. Indeed, little consideration had previously been given to the topic.



Smith, R. (2015), "Entrepreneurship and poetry: analyzing an aesthetic dimension", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 450-472.



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