How Alternative is Alternative? The Role of Entrepreneurial Development, Form, and Function in the Emergence of Alternative Marketscapes: Volume 29

Cover of How Alternative is Alternative? The Role of Entrepreneurial Development, Form, and Function in the Emergence of Alternative Marketscapes

Table of contents

(9 chapters)


Pages i-xiii
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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.


Entrepreneurship is recognized by many as a solution to environmental and social challenges of today’s society. However, it has also been criticized since it may maintain the capitalistic demands of growth and efficiency in an unsustainable way. In this chapter, we challenge the current conception of entrepreneurship that aims for societal change by tracing what, how, where, and with whom such entrepreneurship is performed. Furthermore, we take inspiration from the idea of diverse economy by Gibson-Graham and introduce the concept of alternative entrepreneurship to explore how it takes shape, changes its contours, and both challenges and propels contemporary capitalism. In this chapter, we present three ethnographic cases of the unfolding of diverse entrepreneurial activities: (1) the case of Oria, who contributes to social justice through fair trade; (2) the case of artisan food producers who contribute to biological diversity and a rural livelihood; and (3) the case of the DiE project/NEEM NGO, which contributes to social inclusion through entrepreneurial empowerment and the development of a microcredit program. We find that the alternative entrepreneurs are not constrained by organizational forms or by a limited number of economic and non-economic activities that target societal challenges. The alternative entrepreneurs move between different organizational forms such as non-profit and for profit, as well as, undertaking business and voluntary practices to achieve societal change. Finally, we conclude that the ethnographic tracing of alternative entrepreneurship allows previously unsighted activities to become more visible and brings attention to possibilities of creatively destroying overly narrow conceptions of entrepreneurship.


In a process termed “organizational centrifugalism,” this chapter describes how avant-garde artists sought new, alternative organizational spaces for innovations in the visual arts from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century and how new alternative marketspaces co-evolved with these new organizational spaces. Organizational centrifugalism begins with the denouement of the state-run Salon and Academy in the mid-nineteenth century; the rise of the dealer-critic system and other, non-salon alternative exhibition spaces of French Impressionism in the latter half of the nineteenth century; and through many new organizational spaces associated with Modernism such as formal artists groups, museums, great exhibitions, schools of art, and Modernist art itself. The ultimate effect of organizational centrifugalism is drawing avant-garde art closer to the public and eventually the masses. Excessive organizational centrifugalism, however, can be dangerous to the avant-garde art.


This study used qualitative discourse analysis to explore how researchers use the concept of ingenuity to understand the everyday work of social entrepreneurs. Data were drawn from a sample of 69 research articles published across 41 academic journals between 1998 and 2018. The findings showed ingenuity to be an underdeveloped concept in the social entrepreneurship literature and revealed a paucity of research on the everyday work performed by social entrepreneurs. A framework for studying the work of social entrepreneurs at the “scale of the everyday” through the lens of ingenuity is proposed, and recommendations for future research are provided.


The complex value chain that facilitates local food production and consumption includes purveyors positioned across a range of marketspaces who through the various ways they present and sell their products help create and convey the meaning of “local food.” Limited governance within local food systems (LFSs) and a lack of consensus on the definition of “local food” provide purveyors with notable latitude in how they frame the meaning of “local” in the food products they produce, market, and sell. Consequently, the expansion of food products that are framed as being “local” within conventional marketspaces threatens to convolute the meaning and representation of local food within specific LFSs and across the broader local food movement (LFM). Here, I use a structured photo analysis design to explore the elements that influence the visual representation of “local food” by purveyors within five farmers’ markets and five grocery stores located across the Southern Arizona LFS (SALFS). I consider the farmers’ markets to be alternative marketspaces and the grocery stores to be conventional marketspaces. The data consist of 683 original photos taken of local food framing practices within the farmers’ markets and grocery stores and extensive field notes captured throughout multiple direct observations at each market space. My exploration is guided by a theoretical framework composed of constructs specific to institutional logic, product framing, and taste regimes. The findings illustrate how local food framing practices across alternative and mainstream marketspaces foster a local food taste regime that fails to convey the fundamental principles and values of the LFM. Recommendations for both practice and research are developed from the findings.


This chapter provides insights into the distribution challenges faced by alternative food networks (AFNs) in Japan. Consumers in Japan are showing increasing interest in supporting and buying directly from farmers, reflecting a growing demand for local food production and consumption. This trend parallels the increasing popularity of AFNs which are often touted as distribution models that seek to reconfigure the relationship between producers and consumers. Although AFNs are defined as a bottom-up response to the unsustainable nature of the industrial food system and the exploitative trade relations that are embedded within global food supply chains, there is little in the literature regarding challenges that emerge when scaling AFNs. This chapter focuses on the distribution challenges that emerge for AFN models that exist outside of direct market transactions, by comparing AFN models in Japan with a local wholesale market system that exists within the conventional, mainstream food system. Based on an analysis of the nuances and complexities that AFNs face in coordinating aggregation and distribution, we argue that the promotion of local food systems can also benefit existing conventional food systems, by leveraging the infrastructure of local wholesale markets. The distribution logistics and fundamentals of parity pricing from the wholesale market system would enable AFNs in Japan to establish a more accessible and sustainable food system. Using four case studies, including a local wholesale-market and three AFN models that distribute agricultural products from rural to rural, and rural to urban areas located in the Kansai region of Japan, we deepen the discussion of how small-scale farmers and their involvement in AFNs can better support sustainable food system transformation.


Startup ecosystems and traditional economic development models have historically excluded non-traditional, alternative, and diverse entrepreneurs. These ecosystems often ignore the authentic groups of entrepreneurs and businesses that make a community unique and instead try to encourage only high-impact, high-growth tech startups. By only focusing on this narrower scope of a defined startup ecosystem versus an entrepreneurial ecosystem, smaller cities (and alternative marketplaces) face extreme challenges and miss opportunities for enhanced economic development. This chapter includes a case study of Tucson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the evolution of the entrepreneurial support organization Startup Tucson from one focused only on startups to a now industry-agnostic driver of inclusive ecosystem building. An account of this transition is provided for review, including the community-based feedback process used by the organization to redefine its goals. By adopting a broader definition of entrepreneurship and supporting entrepreneurs truly rooted in Tucson’s strengths, Startup Tucson has seen more diverse businesses (and ventures of all types) and founders opting-in to the ecosystem, thereby increasing the Tucson’s economic development. This case study will provide those interested in ecosystem development with ideas on how to implement ecosystems within alternative markets.


Pages 167-171
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Cover of How Alternative is Alternative? The Role of Entrepreneurial Development, Form, and Function in the Emergence of Alternative Marketscapes
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Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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