Introduction: entrepreneurship in organisational contexts
The year 2011 is significant. Not because most of this book was materialising within that time-space. Instead, there are other events that have operated as strange attractors1 on my, and perhaps others’ thinking, leading up to the suggestion and agreement to make this book. Events that have been directing its becoming to some extent. I refer to 2011 as an anniversary. One hundred years ago, some texts with significant influence on this book’s becoming were published: Schumpeter’s Theorie der Wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, and Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management. I note this not as an example of megalomania or hubris, implying some kinship between this volume and those impressive oeuvres. Rather, they are emblematic of an era, and style of thinking, that have influenced our understanding of management, entrepreneurship and organisation in a most profound way. The era – industrial society and economy – is gradually coming to an end. This does not happen in an evident or easily detectable way. Indeed, many are the prophets that gesture towards various symbols or signs of such an end, gestures that certainly have sold many books. A more correct description would instead talk about the many, no doubt myriad, of small endings that gradually transform us and makes it plausible to one day refer to the present as postindustrial.