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 13: The edge defines the (w)hole: saying what entrepreneurship is (not)

William B. Gartner

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


13. The edge defines the (w)hole: saying what entrepreneurship is (not) William B. Gartner This is a story I often tell at doctoral seminars about my own ‘initiation’ into the community of entrepreneurship scholars. I believe that this might be worth telling here as a coda to Rehn and Taalas’ chapter in this book. They offer a thoughtful exposition of some of the facets of an article I wrote nearly two decades ago – ‘Who is an entrepreneur? is the wrong question’ (Gartner, 1988). We often see the outcomes of scholarly endeavors – the book chapter, the journal article, the monograph and book – without some sense of the conversations that develop as these ‘products’ are published. I’ve found that journal articles, particularly, don’t necessarily ‘speak for themselves’. The process of academic writing so often mutes the author’s voice through a conversation that occurs during the process of reviews and rewriting. This process is not often transparent to the reader. What appears on the pages of a journal article is often the result of multiple dialogues among the author, editor, and reviewers. It is these conversations, well, actually my recollection of these conversations that are the basis for this story of how ‘Who is an entrepreneur?’ came to be written and published. In addition, I’ll use this story as a commentary on where the other chapters in this book seem to be directing future entrepreneurship scholarship. In 1984, Carland, Hoy, Boulton and Carland published an article in the Academy...

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