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Keep the Machine Running: Entrepreneurship as a practice of control in the neoliberal economy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1487-9397
Aalborg University. (Mattering)
2020 (English)In: Against Entrepreneurship / [ed] Anders Ragnar Örtenblad, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While not being against entrepreneurship in practice, the argument here against entrepreneurship discourse is that it is a practice of control in the neoliberal economy. The entrepreneur is an important figure in the current neoliberal ethos embedded in economic policies. This ethos captures an order of reason where all dimensions of life are formulated in terms of economic value and where humans are framed as human capitals. Self-interest, individuality and the continuous pursuit of economic gain are accompanied by deregulations, suspensions of rights, lowering of wages and new affective managerial policies. Instead of representing incentives for entrepreneurship, we argue that these transformations destroy or promote unjust modes of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is an important weapon for capitalism to outsource and deny responsibility for the consequences of its actions. We show how this tendency operates through two stories about entrepreneurship. The first story is from a discourse concerning plastic pollution. In this story, entrepreneurship is presented as the solution to the problem concerning plastic pollution. Rather than solving the problem concerning plastic pollution entrepreneurship serves two purposes. First, focus is redirected from major corporations towards small entrepreneurs. Second, entrepreneurship contributes to keep the wheels of plastic production going at the same or at a stronger pace. The second story is about immigrants where exposed citizens are expected to find their entrepreneurial spirit and become self-sufficient within an institutional system, which is at the same time hostile and does not really recognize them as proper citizens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
Keywords [en]
entrepreneurship, neoliberalism, human capitals, practices of control, plastic pollution, immigrants.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176944DiVA, id: diva2:1377382
Available from: 2019-12-11 Created: 2019-12-11 Last updated: 2019-12-12

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Jørgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf