Exploring Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action
Edited by Frederic Bill, Björn Bjerke and Anders W. Johansson
Chapter 9: The Spectacle of Entrepreneurship: A Duality of Flamboyance and Activity
9. The spectacle of entrepreneurship: a duality of flamboyance and activity Frederic Bill, Andreas Jansson and Lena Olaison INTRODUCTION Introducing a Spectacle This chapter argues that entrepreneurship can be seen as comprising both spectacular and mundane aspects, and that entrepreneurship discourse, both popular and academic, tends to emphasize the spectacular while concealing the mundane aspects of entrepreneurship. A socially productive entrepreneurship, we argue, must however balance both spectacular and mundane aspects and always risks turning into a mere spectacle of entrepreneurship. The argument takes its starting point in two different, albeit related, events. The first one is the European Commission’s initiative to create ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010’, the so-called Lisbon Agenda/Process/Strategy/Initiative. Entrepreneurship is defined as: ‘the mindset and process to create and develop economic activity by blending risk-taking, creativity and/or innovation with sound management, within a new or an existing organisation’ (European Commission, 2003, p. 7; see also Bill and Olaison, 2006). In a recent attempt to operationalize the strategy, the Commission designated the year 2009 to be the ‘Creativity and Innovation European Year 2009’ (European Commission, 2009). The slogan for this initiative was: ‘Creativity is a driver for innovation and a key factor for the development of personal, occupational, entrepreneurial and social competences and the well-being of all individuals in society’ (ibid.). The motto of this initiative was: ‘Imagine. Create. Innovate.’ (ibid.). On the website for the initiative one can read that: ‘the financial and economic crisis that came to light late in 2008...
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