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Toward a Theory of Misfit Entrepreneurship: Insights from Alternative Enterprises and Misfit Entrepreneurs

Craig A. Talmage (Hobart & William Smith Colleges, USA)
Kaleb Boyl (Hobart & William Smith Colleges, USA)
T. Alden Gassert (Hobart & William Smith Colleges, USA)


Entrepreneurship is ubiquitous, but it is not unequivocally a human force for social and economic good. Critical perspectives of the entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial success (and failure) are evolving in the scholarly literature. Dark side theory has emerged as a language for critiquing the dominant narratives of entrepreneurship portrayed in scholarship, education, planning, policy, and other forms of practice. This chapter draws from dark side entrepreneurship theory, Baumolian entrepreneurship, and exemplars of counterculture to craft language for an emerging theory of misfit entrepreneurship, which consists of misfit entrepreneurs and alternative enterprises. Alternative enterprises and misfit entrepreneurs are conceptualized, and literary examples (i.e., Robin Hood and Song Jiang) and modern-day examples (i.e., Hacker groups) are supplied. The unique actions and impacts of misfit entrepreneurs and alternative enterprises are offered for discussion. This new theory of misfit entrepreneurship leaves readers with exploratory questions that enhance critical perspectives and modern understandings of entrepreneurship today.



Talmage, C.A., Boyl, K. and Gassert, T.A. (2022), "Toward a Theory of Misfit Entrepreneurship: Insights from Alternative Enterprises and Misfit Entrepreneurs", Mars, M.M. and Schau, H.J. (Ed.) How Alternative is Alternative? The Role of Entrepreneurial Development, Form, and Function in the Emergence of Alternative Marketscapes (Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth, Vol. 29), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-27.



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Copyright © 2022 Craig A. Talmage, Kaleb Boyl and T. Alden Gassert