Narrative and Discursive Approaches in Entrepreneurship

Narrative and Discursive Approaches in Entrepreneurship

A Second Movements in Entrepreneurship Book

Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert

This is the second volume in a mini-series on movements in entrepreneurship. It aims to forward the study of entrepreneurship by stimulating and exploring new ideas and research practices in relation to new themes, theories, methods, pragmatic stances and contexts. The book explores different experiences and accounts of entrepreneurship, as well as reflections on ‘story telling’ in entrepreneurship research, discursive studies, and debates on how to interpret narrative and discursive work.

Chapter 7: Crime and assumptions in entrepreneurship

Alf Rehn and Saara Taalas

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, research methods in business and management, research methods, qualitative research methods, research methods in business and management


Alf Rehn and Saara Taalas INTRODUCTION William Gartner (1988), in his influential ‘“Who is an entrepreneur?” is the wrong question’, has suggested that there is a simple definition of entrepreneurship, namely ‘the creation of organizations’. Deftly arguing that there can be no generic definition of an entrepreneur, as such a search for traits common to entrepreneurs assumes an essentialism that is suspicious both analytically and philosophically, he then suggests that studies of entrepreneurship instead should focus on how organizations are created. The notion would resolve the issues with knowing what the field should study, as the creation of organizations has been defined as the best way to approach entrepreneurship. It corresponds well with the defining belief of this text: that one has to, in order to understand a field, look at what is empirically studied within it. What is stated in the high theory of a field is less interesting, for on such levels of abstraction the very nature of the studied will by necessity become subsumed into the greater project pursued by the social scientist. In other words, a field of inquiry is, for all intents and purposes, created through inquiries in the field. But if one looks at what actually becomes studied in the field, one will note certain tendencies regarding the choice of subjects. One of the most widespread of these is one almost never addressed, namely the bias towards judicial delimitation. It is this unconscious legalism that is interesting here. And...

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