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James D. Hart

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Björn Bjerke

Consumers have, to a large extent, become their own producers; they are more aware of marketing and are active in adding value to the products and experiences they want. By assessing customers as active agents rather than passive consumers, Björn Bjerke explores alternative ways of marketing for new businesses and social entrepreneurial ventures.
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Marta B. Calás, Seray Ergene and Linda Smircich

This chapter repositions ‘social entrepreneurship’ in the contemporary context of the Anthropocene, when social, environmental and economic transformation would require fundamental changes in (human/anthropocentric) modes of being in the world. Social entrepreneurship may have something to contribute to these important matters but its current modes of existence are trapped in a space of signification that may no longer be there. What may be that space which is no longer there? What is the ‘there’ we should attend to now? If we do so imagine, what would change in these two signifiers, ‘social’ and ‘entrepreneurship’. Thus, this chapter is an exercise in the ‘what if?’ including ‘the Anthropocene’ as part of our contemporary imaginary. Reflecting on these questions, we engage three current literatures: postcapitalism; new materialisms; and posthumanism, to articulate a continuum of practices and entities we assemble as becoming-socialentrepreneurship. This harbours the necessary processes to address the emergence of a post-anthropocentric world. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirically grounded, offering specific examples with contrasting interpretations, from a negation of social entrepreneurship to a hopeful reading of its becoming-socialentrepreneurship.

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Chris Steyaert and Pascal Dey

In the opening chapter, we explain the importance of engaging critically with social entrepreneurship. We underline the need to make an incisive assessment of social entrepreneurship through the way we (still) publish, critique and imagine books in this field. To all those who want to embark on the path of social entrepreneurship, or are simply curious to hear more about the buzz surrounding social entrepreneurship, we say be aware: we need critique, and we need it now! The affirmative critiques we offer to social entrepreneurship are not based on a priori judgements of social entrepreneurship performed from afar, but are intimately related to specific, phenomenological events and observations. Furthermore, we recapitulate how this book draws upon and intervenes in the critical reception of social entrepreneurship. The chapter ends with an overview of the various chapters and the various critical perspectives and themes they draw on and address.

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Raymond Dart

This chapter discusses the chapters in this section on social entrepreneurship, political representation and myth-busting, which cast doubt on claims that there is an explosion in the number of social enterprises occurring, and that the non-profit sector is systematically replacing lost governmental revenue with new commercial sources. This chapter and the accompanying chapters together look toward the complex political and social contexts behind these widespread and inaccurate claims that encourage us to believe in some kind of Social Enterprise Revolution.

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Trish Ruebottom

This chapter takes a critical look at the economic, cultural and political dimensions of social entrepreneurship, and the ethical risks in each dimension. Processes of democratic deliberation are then proposed, using a discourse ethics approach to self-determination as a way to mitigate the inherent risks. Specifically, the chapter suggests three processes at the heart of Habermas’ discourse ethics: political and communicative education; reflexivity; and facilitation of the ideal speech situation. Both education and reflexivity are necessary pre-processes for creating an ideal speech situation. The ideal speech situation itself then requires understanding-focused dialogue that aims to achieve opinion- and will-formation, where there is engagement with the ‘other’ and room for dissent. Together, political and communicative education, reflexivity, and facilitation of the ideal speech situation will create a more open and expanded viewpoint, where the organization’s values are not assumed or imposed on those they seek to help, with an approach that emphasizes self-determination and participation as moral equals.

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Björn Bjerke

This chapter provides an introduction to the rest of the book. It does so by pointing out that it is necessary to act entrepreneurially in today’s world which contains so much genuine uncertainty. It also divides society into different sectors and entrepreneurs into different groups, highlighting the increasing existence and importance of social entrepreneurs. The chapter characterizes today’s society as postmodern and of a knowledge-type, where interpretive thinking has become important. The author’s opinion is presented, that entrepreneurs can only be defined as such in the beginning of new ventures, and that they are not particularly interested in growth and strategic issues. The chapter summarises the book’s focus on there being two alternative kinds of marketing in the beginning of three kinds of business and/or social ventures, before these ventures have reached any kind of clear and accepted form.

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Björn Bjerke

There are several kinds of entrepreneurial startups. Based on the difference between rational and bricoleurial startups, this chapter provides several models and interpretations of various entrepreneurial startups. It continues by discussing important concepts for the rest of the book, such as ‘market’, ‘customer’, ‘user’ and ‘value creation’. It ends by providing the principles for managerial and social phenomenological marketing for entrepreneurs, which is the very duality on which this whole book is based.

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Victor J. Friedman, Israel Sykes and Markus Strauch

This chapter argues for a ‘relational’ framing of social entrepreneurship in contrast to the dominant ‘market’ framing. It builds on the constructs ‘social space’ and ‘field theory’, as introduced by Kurt Lewin and Pierre Bourdieu, to portray social entrepreneurship as a widely distributed, prosaic process of everyday interaction through which citizens co-construct the societies in which they take part. A relational view of social entrepreneurship focuses on the quality of relations that people form with each other and with the physical environment. It views social entrepreneurship as a relational process that can potentially reconfigure social spaces, thereby expanding the realm of the possible. This chapter develops this framework through an analysis of Beit Issie Shapiro, an entrepreneurial organization that in spatial terms, functioned as an ‘enclave’ that challenged, and played a major role in transforming, the existing field of services for children with developmental disabilities and their families in Israel.

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Stefanie Mauksch

This chapter envisions a shift in critical attention to performative effects of social entrepreneurship. Following Judith Butler, it understands language – speaking about social entrepreneurship – and existence – being or becoming a social entrepreneur – as inextricably linked. In a Butlerian sense, social entrepreneurship is a regulatory ideal: a ritualistic, reiterative and citational practice by which discourse produces the effects that it names. By way of illustrating how performative practices in the social entrepreneurship field create emergent identities, the analysis engages with an ethnographic study of social business events as spaces in which a particular social entrepreneurial vision gains appeal as a realizable approach. Such performances constitute a mode of practice that simultaneously signifies and (bodily) enacts social entrepreneurial ideals, thus rendering obsolete the discourse/subject-distinction often assumed in scholarly criticism of social entrepreneurship.