Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Challenging Dominant Discourses, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship

Challenging Dominant Discourses, 1st Edition

Edited by Caroline Essers, Pascal Dey, Deirdre Tedmanson, Karen Verduyn


268 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-02-09
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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.


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

Table of Contents

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 and Power Through Agency: An empirical analysis of struggle by immigrant woman entrepreneurs Huriye Aygören

Section 5: Deconstructing Entrepreneurship

14. Governance of Welfare and Expropriation of the Common: Polish tales of entrepreneurshipDorota Marsh and Pete Thomas

15. Deconstructing Ecopreneurship Annika Skoglund

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Rethinking Entrepreneurship Research

The current focus on entrepreneurship as a purely market-based phenomenon and an unquestionably desirable economic and profitable activity leads to undervaluing and under researching important issues in relation to power, ideology or phenomenology. New postures, new theoretical lenses and new approaches are needed to study entrepreneurship as a contextualized and socially embedded phenomenon. The objective of this series therefore is to adopt a critical and constructive posture towards the theories, methods, epistemologies, assumptions and beliefs which dominate mainstream thinking. It aims to provide a forum for scholarship which questions the prevailing assumptions and beliefs currently dominating entrepreneurship research and invites contributions from a wide range of different communities of scholars, which focus on novelty, diversity and critique.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / New Business Enterprises
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development