The Apocalypse of Entrepreneurship
Sammanfattning: This monograph represents an attempt to rethink some of the fundamentals of entrepreneurship research, arguing that an entrepreneurial method for going about research ought to be about trying hitherto unthought-of perspectives. Apocalypsing, the method proposed and deployed in order to carry out this rethinking, deals simply with venturing beyond the already perceived. Drawing on the structuralism of the renowned anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, societal discourse on entrepreneurship is animated by analysing articles from a Swedish news agency. This analysis forms the foundation for a rereading of a North American myth, the Story of Lynx, as it is retold by Lévi-Strauss. The reinterpretation is aimed at demonstrating how this myth could also be perceived as an entrepreneurship narrative. This build up then culminates in a reframing of an academic monograph dealing with learning in an industrial district, a culmination in which the apocalyptic apparatus is shown, demonstrating the lack of a true signifier. Thus, something normally seen as familiar with regard to entrepreneurship is read/written ‘out of’ the taken for granted perception. Then something normally seen as very exotic, that is the story of Lynx, with regard to entrepreneurship is read/written ‘in to’ the field, thereby folding the phenomena in a new way, making the apparent inside an outside and the apparent outside an inside, elaborating in this way on the possibility of a cosmological perception of entrepreneurship. Next follows a rereading of another scientific text, one that is powered mainly by a case study of an industrial district. Using this story, an attempt to tear away the veil that obscures entrepreneurship is made, demonstrating how entrepreneurship can be seen as a part in a series of substitutable elements. Insteadof a ‘true’ meaning, entrepreneurship links up with other labels, arranging itself into a series of substitutable explanations regarding why the world is the way it is. In the next step, drawing upon the colourful descriptions in the Book of Revelations, attempts are made to present other entrepreneurships. Inspired by Gilles Deleuze, various understandings, various horsemen of the apocalypse, are allowed to emanate from the material presented by Gustafsson (2004). Thus, it is shown how entrepreneurship could be multiplied beyond the apocalypse. Thus, Gustafsson’s field-accounts are used to elaborate on the four horsemen: who they are, what they do – which is perhaps somewhat surprising – and what they do not do. That is, the Apocalypse or apocalyptic apparatus is moved through the regionand it leaves in its wake another understanding. Finally venturing back into the field of entrepreneurship research, this study elaborates on what the apocalypse and its aftermath would imply for our understanding of the various attempts to research the phenomena of entrepreneurship. Surprisingly, this leads us to the discovery that entrepreneurship research resides in Limbo.
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