A Fourth Movements in Entrepreneurship Book
Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert
Chapter 9: Playing the Fool? An Aesthetic Performance of an Entrepreneurial Identity
Lorraine Warren and Alistair Anderson INTRODUCTION Many of us recognize that entrepreneurship can be magniﬁcent, but how can we know when entrepreneurship is beautiful? How can we grasp the subtleties of entrepreneurial interplay of words and actions to appreciate its forms? It seems so paradoxical that we so often try to use the sharpest instruments of the positivistic sciences to try to prick out essences of something so nebulous and intangible; trying to slice ﬁnely something so rich and varied but that only becomes manifest in its presentations. The rationalities of these approaches rely on the logic of their particular rationality, but so many diﬀerent rationalities may impinge upon our understanding. Politicians have diﬀerent rationales from educators, economists employ diﬀerent rationales from psychologists; all are sound in their given context, yet we need to empathize with that context for them to be rational. But words tell stories, voices capture thoughts; we read, we hear, we begin to understand through all of our senses. In this chapter we argue that entrepreneurship has an aesthetic, that the words that people use and the way that people use them can be used as a way of appreciating enterprise. Our theoretical viewpoint is that the interplay of entrepreneurial language and enterprising deeds provides us with a theoretic moment of purchase to begin to comprehend how emotion, sentiment, sometimes even passion, ﬁll out our intensely human understandings of what it means to be entrepreneurial. We make no claims to a lofty...