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Article

Stefanie Mauksch, Pascal Dey, Mike Rowe and Simon Teasdale

As a critical and intimate form of inquiry, ethnography remains close to lived realities and equips scholars with a unique methodological angle on social phenomena. This…

Abstract

Purpose

As a critical and intimate form of inquiry, ethnography remains close to lived realities and equips scholars with a unique methodological angle on social phenomena. This paper aims to explore the potential gains from an increased use of ethnography in social enterprise studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop the argument through a set of dualistic themes, namely, the socio-economic dichotomy and the discourse/practice divide as predominant critical lenses through which social enterprise is currently examined, and suggest shifts from visible leaders to invisible collectives and from case study-based monologues to dialogic ethnography.

Findings

Ethnography sheds new light on at least four neglected aspects. Studying social enterprises ethnographically complicates simple reductions to socio-economic tensions, by enriching the set of differences through which practitioners make sense of their work-world. Ethnography provides a tool for unravelling how practitioners engage with discourse(s) of power, thus marking the concrete results of intervention (to some degree at least) as unplannable, and yet effective. Ethnographic examples signal the merits of moving beyond leaders towards more collective representations and in-depth accounts of (self-)development. Reflexive ethnographies demonstrate the heuristic value of accepting the self as an inevitable part of research and exemplify insights won through a thoroughly bodily and emotional commitment to sharing the life world of others.

Originality/value

The present volume collects original ethnographic research of social enterprises. The editorial develops the first consistent account of the merits of studying social enterprises ethnographically.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 13 no. 02
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Article

Karen Verduijn, Pascal Dey, Deirdre Tedmanson and Caroline Essers

The purpose of this paper is to use the attribute “critical” as a sensitizing concept to emphasize entrepreneurship's role in overcoming extant relations of exploitation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use the attribute “critical” as a sensitizing concept to emphasize entrepreneurship's role in overcoming extant relations of exploitation, domination and oppression. It builds on the premise that entrepreneurship not only brings about new firms, products and services but also new openings for more liberating forms of individual and collective existence.

Design/methodology/approach

Honing in on Calas et al.'s (2009) seminal piece on critical entrepreneurship studies, and building on Laclau's (1996) conceptualization of emancipation as intimately related to oppression, the paper explores different interpretations of emancipation and discuss these from a critical understanding of entrepreneurship. The paper then employs these interpretations to introduce and “classify” the five articles in this special issue.

Findings

The editorial charts four interpretations of emancipation along two axes (utopian-dystopian and heterotopian-paratopian), and relates these to various strands of critical entrepreneurship research. United by a general commitment to positive change, each interpretation champions a different take on what might comprise the emancipatory or oppressive potential of entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

As the emancipatory aspect of entrepreneurship has attracted increasing attention among entrepreneurship researchers, the paper formulates a tentative framework for furthering views on the emancipatory aspects of entrepreneurship as a positive phenomenon in critical research – which to date has tended to be preoccupied with the “dark side” of entrepreneurship.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article

Diana Lorenzo-Afable, Marjolein Lips-Wiersma and Smita Singh

This paper aims to characterise the “social” in social entrepreneurship (SE) by examining social value creation (SVC) from the perspective of vulnerable beneficiaries…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to characterise the “social” in social entrepreneurship (SE) by examining social value creation (SVC) from the perspective of vulnerable beneficiaries within a developing country context. It uses the lens of care ethics to garner insights into SVC based on what beneficiaries care about in their work engagement with social enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploratory paper implements a multiple case study approach to theory building, which considers the rich, real-life developing country context wherein much SVC occurs. Data collection primarily uses in-depth interviews with beneficiaries in accordance with socially sensitive research methodologies involving vulnerable participants.

Findings

The findings offer an ethical view of SVC that is premised on what is of value to beneficiaries in SE. The authors find that SVC is a multi-dimensional and reciprocal process that is shaped as beneficiaries work for social enterprises. The reciprocal nature of the process engenders beneficiary altruism, which may heighten vulnerability and lead to the dark side of SE.

Social implications

Many of the problems SE tries to address are situated in developing countries. The findings may enable social entrepreneurs, policymakers and social enterprise organisations to develop more responsive and more impactful solutions to social problems in developing countries. They further suggest that beneficiaries must not be looked upon merely as passive recipients of value but as active participants in the SVC process.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to critical SE discourse by giving voice to beneficiaries in SE.

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Article

Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert

This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects, thus creating space for novel and more radical enactments.

Design/methodology/approach

A typology mapping four types of critical research gets developed. Each critique's merits and limitations are illustrated through existing research. Also, the contours of a fifth form of critique get delineated which aims at radicalising social entrepreneurship through interventionist research.

Findings

The typology presented entails myth‐busting (problematisation through empirical facts), critique of power‐effects (problematisation through denormalising discourses, ideologies, symbols), normative critique (problematisation through moral reflection), and critique of transgression (problematisation through practitioners' counter‐conducts).

Research limitations/implications

The paper makes it clear that the critique of social entrepreneurship must not be judged according to what it says but to whether it creates the conditions for novel articulations and enactments of social entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

It is argued that practitioners' perspectives and viewpoints are indispensible for challenging and extending scientific doxa. It is further suggested that prospective critical research must render practitioners' perspective an even stronger focus.

Originality/value

The contribution is the first of its kind which maps critical activities in the field of social entrepreneurship, and which indicates how the more radical possibilities of social entrepreneurship can be fostered through interventionist research.

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Article

Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert

Responding to recent pleas both to critically analyze and to conceptually advance social entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the political…

Abstract

Purpose

Responding to recent pleas both to critically analyze and to conceptually advance social entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the political “unconscious” operates in the narration of social entrepreneurship and how it poses a limit to alternative forms of thinking and talking.

Design/methodology/approach

To move the field beyond a predominantly monological way of narrating, various genres of narrating social entrepreneurship are identified, critically discussed and illustrated against the backdrop of development aid.

Findings

The paper identifies and distinguishes between a grand narrative that incorporates a messianistic script of harmonious social change, counter‐narratives that render visible the intertextual relations that interpellate the grand narration of social entrepreneurship and little narratives that probe novel territories by investigating the paradoxes and ambivalences of the social.

Practical implications

The paper suggests a minor understanding and non‐heroic practice of social entrepreneurship guided by the idea of “messianism without a messiah.”

Originality/value

The paper suggests critical reflexivity as a way to analyze and multiply the circulating narrations of social entrepreneurship.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article

Stephanie Chasserio, Philippe Pailot and Corinne Poroli

This paper aims at exploring the dynamics of multiple identities of women entrepreneurs (WE). The paper analyse how WE do identity work in relation to specific identity…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at exploring the dynamics of multiple identities of women entrepreneurs (WE). The paper analyse how WE do identity work in relation to specific identity regulations in the particular French cultural context. The objective is to understand how the entrepreneurial identity process of women is built through both confrontation and synergy with other social identities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for a qualitative and abductive methodological design. In total, 41 French WE from diverse business activities were interviewed. The empirical material was subject to thematic analysis.

Findings

The findings reveal the ability of these WE to deal with numerous and various identities. Their daily strategies to accommodate different roles depict how their entrepreneurial activity is intertwined with their personal and social life. The paper are far away from the picture of a monolithic entrepreneur without social dimensions. Given that, the findings broaden the too simplistic vision of WE as an homogeneous whole. Within this group of French WE, the analysis reveals that forms of identity work are along a continuum from accepting conventional norms and social expectations and integrating them in self-identity, or challenging them by accommodation or transformation, or, in turn, by redefining and proposing new norms. It also brings a nuanced understanding of complexity and multidimensionality of their daily life.

Originality/value

Finally by studying French WE, the paper identify new practices, new interactions between social roles which could be also relevant for men. In fact, the study challenges the traditional framework on entrepreneurship, which produces an incomplete view of entrepreneurs, by omitting historical and social variables. This disembodied vision of entrepreneur could not be applied to women and probably could not be applied to contemporaneous men either.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article

Lena Olaison and Bent Meier Sørensen

Failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial process has recently become a hot topic. The purpose of this paper is to review this debate as expressed both in…

Abstract

Purpose

Failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial process has recently become a hot topic. The purpose of this paper is to review this debate as expressed both in research on entrepreneurship and in the public discourse, in order to understand what kind of failure is being incorporated into the entrepreneurship discourse and what is being repressed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is twofold: an empirical investigation modelled as a discourse analysis is followed by a psychoanalytically inspired deconstruction of the identified hegemony. Where the discourse analysis treats what is omitted, the purpose of the psychoanalytic analysis is to point out more concretely what is being repressed from the hegemonic discourses that the first part of the paper identified.

Findings

The paper identifies a discursive shift from focusing on entrepreneurial success while at the same time negating failure, to embracing failure as a “learning experience”. Second, we trace this “fail better”-movement and identify a distinction between the “good failure” from which the entrepreneur learns, and the “bad failure” which may also imply a moral breakdown. Finally, the paper attempts to deconstruct this discourse deploying Kristeva's idea of the abject. The paper argues that the entrepreneurship discourse seeks closure through abjecting its own, real kernel, namely: the everyday, common, entrepreneurial failure. This image comprises the abject of entrepreneurship, and abject which does becomes visible, however, rarely: Bernie Madoff, Jeff Skilling, Stein Bagger.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study the darker and unwanted sides of entrepreneurship and extends our understanding of failure in entrepreneurial processes.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article

Attila Bruni and Manuela Perrotta

Among the various “critical” voices which have contributed to problematizing the discourse on entrepreneurship, that of gender studies is indubitably one of the most…

Abstract

Purpose

Among the various “critical” voices which have contributed to problematizing the discourse on entrepreneurship, that of gender studies is indubitably one of the most significant and fruitful. Applying a gender perspective to the study of entrepreneurship has led to the uncovering of the (male) gender assumptions embodied in the dictates of entrepreneurship and to distinguish between study of women entrepreneurs and study of the relationship between gender and entrepreneurship. One aspect little explored within this diversified array of studies concerns “mixed” situations in which a firm's management is shared between a woman and a man. Such situations are interesting in that: first, they make it possible to problematize the economic rhetoric which promulgates entrepreneurship as an individual and isolated, activity; second, the simultaneous presence of a man and a woman allows observation of whether and how gender stereotypes and practices are at work in the process of positioning Him and Her within the firm. In order to investigate both these aspects, the paper considers 18 verbal histories of women and men entrepreneurs, showing how entrepreneurship can be conceived as a distributed activity, as well as a playground for gender dynamics. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Narrative analysis of 18 “two-voice” interviews (for a total of 36 individual interviews) collected in artisanal activities characterized by the concomitant presence of a Him and a Her within the firm.

Findings

First, interweaving between doing gender and doing business; second, entrepreneurship as a distributed activity; third, entrepreneurial environment sets out opportunities and contingent factors which can be used as resources for the positioning of Him and Her in the story and the construction of different narratives. This confirms the multi-dimensionality of entrepreneurial experience and suggests that future research should pay closer attention to the aspects of business activity sharing and reciprocity in the construction and positioning of gender.

Research limitations/implications

Main implication for future research is to pay closer attention to aspects of reciprocity sharing and gender positioning in entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

“Mixed” entrepreneurial experiences (firm's management is shared between a woman and a man) are little explored and it is still uncommon to frame entrepreneurship as a distributed activity.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article

Banu Ozkazanc-Pan

The purpose of this paper is to examine identity formation and networking practices relevant for high-technology entrepreneuring or the enactment of entrepreneurship in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine identity formation and networking practices relevant for high-technology entrepreneuring or the enactment of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley by Turkish business people.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by postcolonial feminist frameworks, the author conducted a combination of ethnographic and auto-ethnographic fieldwork at high-technology conferences in Silicon Valley by focussing on talk and text as relevant for understanding entrepreneuring. Through a reflexive stance, the author analyzed observations, conversations, and experiences inclusive of her own positionality during the research process as they related to entrepreneurial identity formation and networking.

Findings

During business networking conferences taking place among Turkish business people in Silicon Valley, women and older males became marginalized through the emergence of a hegemonic masculinity associated with young Turkish male entrepreneurs. In addition, local context impacted whether and how actors engaged in practices that produced marginalization and resistance simultaneously.

Originality/value

The research is of value for scholars interested in understanding how identity formation and networking in high-technology entrepreneuring take place through gendered practices and ideas. Scholars interested in deploying postcolonial feminist perspectives will also benefit by understanding how key analytic tools and research methods from these lenses can be used for conducting fieldwork in other contexts.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article

Padraig Timothy McCarthy, Chris O'Riordan and Ray Griffin

– The purpose of this paper is to focus on the other end of entrepreneurship – the disassembling of enterprises by insolvency professionals.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the other end of entrepreneurship – the disassembling of enterprises by insolvency professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on empirical material from major insolvency practitioners (IPs) in Ireland; the paper identifies three different narrative positions – “clinical market operators”, “blame the entrepreneurs” and “professional detachment/disidentification” – that these specialists employed to story their working experiences.

Findings

The paper suggests that IPs do not have a fixed narrative schema to narrate their professional identities, as they struggle to reconcile their professional acts with their personal ambitions. These findings point to a disconnection between the political rhetoric on risk taking and the acts perpetrated on entrepreneurs who fail, a central tension in the discourse on entrepreneurship policy.

Research limitations/implications

The paper adds to the current debate on business failure, an area that is typically under-researched and under-theorised in entrepreneurship studies. By offering a response to calls for more multi-perspective research, this paper makes a significant contribution to extant interpretive literature on business failure. While the method of analysing stories is widely accepted in social science research, researchers seeking to replicate this study may produce different results; this is a taken for granted outcome of the method.

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that the current legislative impetus to ameliorate the implications of insolvency, driven by an aspiration to encourage second-chance entrepreneurship, faces resistance from IPs as they attempt to fulfil their professional obligations. In the absence of legislative reform, the impulse, perhaps even process necessity, of IPs to dialogically position themselves against failed entrepreneurs is likely to continue.

Originality/value

The paper's originality and value arise from its unique consideration of other end of entrepreneurship; offering novel insights into the difficulties IPs have in narrating their working lives.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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