Exploring Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action
Edited by Frederic Bill, Björn Bjerke and Anders W. Johansson
Chapter 1: Demobilizing or Mobilizing the Entrepreneurship Discourse: Something Else or None of It?
1. Demobilizing or mobilizing the entrepreneurship discourse: something else or none of it? Frederic Bill, Björn Bjerke and Anders W. Johansson Data never speak for themselves. Words say more than just a constellation of letters do. When communicating a language we try to transfer meaning by employing systems of culturally determined arbitrary labels (Saussure, 1916/1977). The mechanics of meaning has been approached in different ways. Derrida (1976/1998) has argued that meaning arises from the position of a word within the confinements of a system of words, thereby creating endless chains of deferred textual meaning. Since words are defined from their differences vis-à-vis one another, meaning becomes effectively elusive. Others have argued that meaning resides not in the difference between words, but rather in the nature and design of a system in which a certain word is included (Lévi-Strauss, 1945). Thus meaning stems from positions within a structural system rather than from any qualities inherent to a word or phenomenon. However, no matter how the words of a language are loaded with content, when confronting them we are lured into a specific mode of thinking. Regardless of whether this is intentional from the sender’s point of view, thinking in a specific way makes us prone to act in a particular way. Thus, words and the meaning we ascribe to them affect the way we perceive and act within our everyday world. We can make a distinction between everyday language and scientific language (and phenomenologists, in particular, make such...
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