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.
Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2007
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurs