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Björn Bjerke

This chapter starts by presenting knowledge development of the subject of business entrepreneurship during the 300 years of its existence, starting by looking at it as an economic function and ending with today’s focus on understanding entrepreneurship by better understanding the customers. After separating entrepreneurship from enterprising, small business, innovation and self-development, the chapter discusses two views on the subject today, referred to as the limited and the more extended view, and ends by presenting the author’s opinion of the possibility of characterizing business entrepreneurs as people acting ‘as if’, and involving more parts of their bodies in the business than just their brains.

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Björn Bjerke

This chapter looks at leaders as a function in society, and tries to define the characteristic thoughts and behaviours of people trying to excel in pursuing leadership. It explores contextual theories of the leadership phenomenon and its results and effects, and the concept that understanding followers better leads to a clearer understanding of what leadership actually is. The chapter ends by categorising leaders as considering followers, versus understanding them as co-creators of leader-follower outcomes; this concept guides the rest of the book.

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Björn Bjerke

This chapter is about knowledge development of the subject of marketing. This development (as with the knowledge development of business entrepreneurship in Chapter 2, social entrepreneurship in Chapter 3 and leadership in Chapter 5) is presented in terms of stages, starting from explaining its function and moving towards developing a real understanding of customer and / or users. Furthermore, there is an extended discussion of marketing as being goods-dominant or service-dominant, and the chapter ends by exploring how to understand concepts such as market, customer, user and value creation.

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Björn Bjerke

Despite being a young academic subject, social entrepreneurship is surprisingly broad in its orientation. This chapter discusses its short history, the differences between social entrepreneurship in the public sector, the business sector and the citizen sector, its relationship to ‘place’ as opposite to ‘space’, the role it can play in local community development, and how it is related to citizen capital and governance.

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Björn Bjerke

This chapter is orientated at providing models and interpretations from situations where the entrepreneur pursues his or her goals from the position of being already employed in another company (intra-corporate entrepreneurship). The chapter discusses this situation from a rational as well as from a social phenomenological point of view. Much of what is discussed in Chapter 8 is applicable here as well, but some extra elaborations are included.

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Björn Bjerke

This chapter, as well as the remaining chapters, discusses how to apply marketing for successful entrepreneurs; in this chapter the focus is on a business-orientated venture. The chapter starts by providing two different rational ways of succeeding as an entrepreneur. One of them is referred to as the sequential marketing approach and the other as the structural marketing approach. Both are generally accepted. The chapter suggests an alternative, in theory as well as in practice, which might be referred to as interactive co-creating marketing. This alternative is based on a very different philosophical foundation, which is social phenomenology.

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Björn Bjerke

A distinctive kind of social entrepreneur is discussed in this chapter: a public entrepreneur (also referred to as a social innovator). This category of entrepreneur operates in public places physically, virtually, discursively and emotionally to build citizenry and sociality. The chapter explores the problems inherent in categorizing these people in terms of traditional methods of marketing.

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Simon Teasdale, Fergus Lyon and Robyn Owen (Baldock)

Social enterprise is a contested concept which has become a site for policy intervention in many countries. In the UK the government has invested significant resources in social enterprise infrastructure, partly to increase the capacity of social enterprises to deliver or replace public services. Government publications show the number of social enterprises to have increased from 5300 to 62000 over a five-year period. This chapter explores the myth of social enterprise growth in the UK through a methodological critique of the four government data sources used to construct and legitimize this myth. Particular attention is paid to how political decisions influence the construction of evidence. We find that growth is mainly attributable to political decisions to reinterpret key elements of the social enterprise definition and to include new organizational types in sampling frames.

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Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert

In this chapter we make two contributions. The first consists of distinguishing three understandings of myth – myth as false explanation, myth as ideology, and myth as dialectic potential – which open up different, and partly complementary, possibilities for demystifying social entrepreneurship. To substantiate these theoretical distinctions, we review how these practices of demystification have been applied in the (critical) literature on social entrepreneurship. Our second objective is to stimulate the conceptual expansion of the third and least developed strategy of demystification, which we call ‘demystification from below’. To do so, we offer an empirical illustration to expound its workings. To conclude, we argue that the imperative of constant re-invention is due to the ever-present possibility that demystification becomes neutralized to the point where it becomes a mere cliché of its initial promise.

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Jenny Cameron

This commentary reflects on the two chapters in the section on ‘social entrepreneurship, relationality and the possible’. The chapters push at our understandings of social entrepreneurship. They start by taking a relational view of the world, exploring the importance of the relationships between people, and between people and ‘things’. In so doing they provide insights into social entrepreneurship as a social change practice not so much for finding accommodations in what is already present but for shifting the frame of what is thinkable and doable. They also document strategies for social change while also recognizing that social change is an unpredictable and uneven process that involves responding to the unexpected. Finally, the chapters invite reflection on the contribution of social research to the social change process by demonstrating how social research can be oriented towards ushering in the new, an orientation that is captured in the notion of research as a performative practice. This commentary takes up these themes of relationality, social change and research orientation.