The power of words and images: towards talking about and seeing entrepreneurship and innovation differently

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... Recently, research has started to emphasize that contexts are constructed and enacted through not only our actions but also social relations, cognitions, words and images (Welter, 2019b;Welter and Gartner, 2016). Steyaert (2016) sees contextualization as a process and outcome of language and conversations. ...
Purpose This paper aims to illustrate the main contributions of the context-gender discussion in entrepreneurship research and its main developments over time to identify promising future research avenues. Design/methodology/approach This paper builds on the author’s extensive knowledge of the context-gender debate and on several recent overviews and reviews of the debate. It is written as essay, introducing its main themes through a personal reflection and complemented by a selective review of research on gendered contexts and women’s entrepreneurship. Findings The context-gender discussion has moved forward. The first wave of context-gender studies contextualized gender, considering the impact of contexts on women’s entrepreneurship. Nowadays, studies are conducted on how contexts are gendered and how they are constructed in gendered ways through, for example, words, images, cognitions, as well as how women entrepreneurs can impact on and enact their contexts. Originality/value This paper contributes novel insights into contextualizing gender and gendering contexts. It is unique in suggesting that a perspective on gendering contexts will allow to explore the diversity of entrepreneurship and further develop theories related to contexts and gender.
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Nowadays, entrepreneurship is taught on a ‘university-wide’ basis, implying that thesubject is introduced to multiple students from a diversity of backgrounds. At thesame time, a student-centred movement has been noted in the field, focusing ontailored education based on students’ preconceptions of entrepreneurship. However, studies of students’ preconceptions of entrepreneurship are scarce. Thus far,entrepreneurship education literature has primarily examined what to teach or how to teach. This has taken place in accordance with the Anglo-American didactictradition in which ‘didactics’ is a form of instruction rather than a way of combining ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions from various perspectives. As a consequence, distinguished authors in the field are calling for more advanced theoretical links between entrepreneurship education research and education science. This study develops and examines a visual-based exercise as a means of studyingstudents’ preconceptions of entrepreneurship and as a novel educational tool. Thisis conducted in accordance with the German didaktik tradition that presumes thatstudents, the learning content and the teacher are interdependently related. The purpose is to elicit students’ preconceptions of entrepreneurship using a visual-based exercise, as well as to offer knowledge of how this affects didaktik relationships in entrepreneurship education. To address this purpose, phenomenographic didaktik is used to discuss a subject-specific ‘entrepreneurship didaktik’, characterised by astudent-centred perspective. Photographs were used in a visual-based exercise to elicit students’ preconceptions and interviews with teachers and students were conducted in order to evaluate the exercise from a didaktik perspective.The results of the study show that students’ preconceptions of entrepreneurshipare multifaceted and that there are both similarities and differences between students’ preconceptions of entrepreneurship and established understandings of entrepreneurship. From a practical perspective, the study introduces a visual-based exercise that contributes to both students’ and teachers’ understandings of where entrepreneurship education starts from a student perspective, thereby helping students to link new knowledge to their contemporary understandings and helping teachers to base their education on students’ preconceptions in order to enhancetheir learning. On a theoretical level, this work contributes to the student-centred movement in entrepreneurship education by demonstrating how the relational perspective in the German didaktik tradition can advance the link betweenentrepreneurship education and education science.
This article contributes to critical discussions questioning the emancipatory potential of entrepreneurship by examining the experiences of men and women entrepreneurs who have recently become employers in South Wales, the United Kingdom. Our research uses a co-creative visual method based in interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to explore transitions from entrepreneur to entrepreneur-employer in everyday contexts. Findings demonstrate how initial emancipatory experiences become increasingly bounded when becoming an entrepreneur-employer. This exposes a Catch-22 of entrepreneuring-as-emancipation as a symptom of neoliberal entrepreneurial discourses that constrain what entrepreneurs are encouraged to do: grow. We find a plurality of particular emancipations, but conclude that within a developed context entrepreneurship, and more specifically, becoming an entrepreneur-employer is a relational step through which perceived constraints become more readily experienced and emancipation never fully realised.
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As the breadth and empirical diversity of entrepreneurship research have increased rapidly during the last decade, the quest to find a "one-size-fits-all" general theory of entrepreneurship has given way to a growing appreciation for the importance of contexts. This promises to improve both the practical relevance and the theoretical rigor of research in this field. Entrepreneurship means different things to different people at different times and in different places and both its causes and its consequences likewise vary. For example, for some people entrepreneurship can be a glorious path to emancipation, while for others it can represent the yoke tethering them to the burdens of overwork and drudgery. For some communities it can drive renaissance and vibrancy while for others it allows only bare survival. In this book, we assess and attempt to push forward contemporary conceptualizations of contexts that matter for entrepreneurship, pointing in particular to opportunities generating new insights by attending to contexts in novel or underexplored ways. This book shows that the ongoing contextualization of entrepreneurship research should not simply generate a proliferation of unique theories – one for every context – but can instead result in better theory construction, testing and understanding of boundary conditions, thereby leading us to richer and more profound understanding of entrepreneurship across its many forms. Contextualizing Entrepreneurship Theory will critically review the current debate and existing literature on contexts and entrepreneurship and use this to synthesize new theoretical and methodological frameworks that point to important directions for future research. Open Access Link:
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