A Second Movements in Entrepreneurship Book
Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert
Chapter 12: Reading the storybook of life: telling the right story versus telling the story rightly
Jerome Katz NARRATIVE AND DISCURSIVE APPROACHES IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDIES I grew up around parents who were business and civic entrepreneurs, which is to say I grew up in a world full of stories. Whether discussing a new person being recruited, a contact made, a sale or contribution or placement, the diﬃcult past or the glorious future, life among entrepreneurs was a storybook sort of life, insofar as a lot of it involved and evoked stories. With such a background, sitting amid experts on entrepreneurial narratives and listening to their explanations of the purposes, processes and methods of entrepreneurial stories, I was oﬀered moments of intense enlightenment and at times intense frustration. The enlightenment came as I ﬁnally understood what made a particular narrative compelling or gave it a resonance with my own thoughts and emotions. The frustration came when I posited the words of the narrative experts against the stories I have carried, and ﬁnd myself inadequate to making the leap from the discussion about stories to the stories I know. In either situation, I found myself going away from the presentations ﬁlled to my intellectual brim with ideas I wanted to ponder even more, and hopefully the chapters here will bring you to a similar impression. The role of narratives in entrepreneurship seems to me remarkably intertwined with the historic dialectics or dualities of our ﬁeld. There is for example popular entrepreneurship and research entrepreneurship. On one hand, in most societies there are mainstream narratives, often from...
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