1st Edition

Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship Challenging Dominant Discourses

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Entrepreneurship is largely considered to be a positive force, driving venture creation and economic growth. Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship questions the accepted norms and dominant assumptions of scholarship on the matter, and reveals how they can actually obscure important questions of identity, ideology and inequality.

    The book’s distinguished authors and editors explore how entrepreneurship study can privilege certain forms of economic action, whilst labelling other, more collective forms of organization and exchange as problematic. Demystifying the archetypal vision of the white, male entrepreneur, this book gives voice to other entrepreneurial subjectivities and engages with the tensions, paradoxes and ambiguities at the heart of the topic.

    This challenging collection seeks to further the momentum for alternate analyses of the field, and to promote the growing voice of critical entrepreneurship studies. It is a useful tool for researchers, advanced students and policy-makers.

    1. Critical Entrepreneurship Studies – a Manifesto Caroline Essers, Pascal Dey, Deirdre Tedmanson and Karen Verduyn

    Section 1: Contesting Neo-Liberal Aspects of Traditional Entrepreneurship Approaches

    2. Social Entrepreneurs: Precious and Precarious Karin Berglund

    3. Social Enterprise and the Everydayness of Precarious Indigenous Cambodian Villagers: Challenging ethnocentric epistemologies Isaac Lyne

    4. Reasons to be Fearful: The ‘Google Model of Production’, entrepreneurship, corporate power, and the concentration of dispersed knowledge Gerard Hanlon

    Section 2: Locating New Forms of Indigenous and Community-Based Entrepreneurship

    5. Emerging Entrepreneurship in South America Miguel Imas

    6. Challenging Leadership in Discourses of Indigenous Entrepreneurship in Australia Deirdre Tedmanson and Michelle Evans

    7. Feeding the City: The importance of the informal Warung restaurants for the urban economy in Indonesia Peter de Boer and Lothar Smith

    Section 3: Critiquing the Archetype of the White, Christian Entrepreneur

    8. Injecting Reality into the Migrant Entrepreneurship Agenda Monder Ram, Trevor Jones and Maria Villares

    9. Bringing Strategy Back: Ethnic minority entrepreneurs’ construction of legitimacy by ‘fitting in’ and ‘standing out’ in the creative industries Annelies Thoelen and Patrizia Zanoni

    10. A Critical Reflection on Female Migrant Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands Karen Verduyn and Caroline Essers

    Section 4: Challenging the Gendered Sub-Text in Entrepreneurship

    11. Critically Evaluating Contemporary Entrepreneurship from a Feminist Perspective Susan Marlow and Haya Al-Dajani

    12. On Entrepreneurship and Empowerment: Postcolonial feminist interventions Banu Ozkazanc-Pan

    13. Bridging the Gap Between Resistance


    Caroline Essers is Associate Professor of Strategic Human Resource Management at Radboud University, the Netherlands. 

    Pascal Dey is Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

    Deirdre Tedmanson is Associate Professor and Associate Head of School (Academic) in the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy at the University of South Australia.

    Karen Verduyn is Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Programme Director of their MSc in Entrepreneurship.

    This is an excellent book. Critical studies are gaining ground in the entrepreneurship field; and this edited volume provides a much needed overview that challenges our thinking on what constitutes entrepreneurship and why. The chapters highlight the value of critically reviewing well-known phenomena such as minority, ethnic, indigenous entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, gender and entrepreneurship. The editors have done a superb job in assembling such knowledgeable contributors. A must read for all of us interested in the contribution critical perspectives can make to entrepreneurship research.

    Friederike Welter, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn, and University of Siegen, Germany.


    The coming of Essers, Dey, Tedmanson and Verduyn’s excellent collection is in itself a manifesto for the strength of critical entrepreneurship studies. As contributions to this field, each and every chapter voices entrepreneurship as a social change activity capable of speaking back, explicitly or implicitly, to what the 'entrepreneur' of neoliberalism attempts to conceal. At the same time, each chapter articulates a whole other world of possibilities. A 'must read' to act upon!

    Marta B. Calás, Professor of Organization Studies and International Management, University of Massachusetts, USA


    Adopting a proactive stance for highlighting new critiques and contexts of entrepreneurship, this thought-provoking collection of critical narratives discusses entrepreneurship as a social change activity. With an interest in non-traditional entrepreneurial activities, this authoritative volume advances critical scholarship and fosters a new agenda for entrepreneurship research in the coming decade.

    Denise Fletcher, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg