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Constructions of entrepreneurship: a discourse analysis of academic publications


  • Karin Berglund
  • Anders W. Johansson


Purpose - The purpose of this research paper is to investigate opposing versions of entrepreneurship and to introduce a metaphor to stimulate a dialogue about the diversity and complexity of enterprising communities. Design/methodology/approach - A discourse framework is developed in order to describe dominating – and even new and challenging – versions of entrepreneurship. The discourse analysis is presented in three steps: the introductory text to a handbook of entrepreneurship is deconstructed to expose some basic assumptions of entrepreneurship; drawing on several research articles, some dominating versions of entrepreneurship are analysed; drawing on research articles which have recently been published in two special issues in entrepreneurship journals, alternative versions of entrepreneurship are analysed. Findings - This paper compares three dominating and three alternative versions of entrepreneurship. All the versions are related to the idea of entrepreneurship as a story of creation for our times, where it is implied that entrepreneurship appears to be something inherently good for society and for people. The versions share a common denominator but are also distinguished by different ontological and epistemological assumptions that make a dialogue between the versions problematic. Research limitations/implications - The results of this research paper have obvious limitations because of the methodology employed and due to the limited number of texts analysed. Originality/value - The concept of a discursive web to analyse the world of entrepreneurship is introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Berglund & Anders W. Johansson, 2007. "Constructions of entrepreneurship: a discourse analysis of academic publications," Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 77-102, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jecpps:v:1:y:2007:i:1:p:77-102

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