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To play or not to play: that is the question: entrepreneuring as gendered play
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Management & Organisation.
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, Vol. 31, no 2, 206-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How can play be used to unravel the discourse of the gendered hero entrepreneur and instead describe mundane entrepreneuring? Further, how can the doing of gendered social orders be problematized when entrepreneuring is equated with play? In this article we answer these questions by engaging with the French social theorist Caillois’ (1961) conceptualization of play as being at the heart of all higher culture. Two ethnographic cases act as our vehicle in analysing play as entrepreneuring. From a rich description of these cases we find that it is not a question of playing or not playing, but about how to play. All four forms of play described by Caillois are present, which illustrates the variation of entrepreneuring and the richness of activities conducted in the ‘doing of entrepreneurship’. Further, both ways of playing discussed by Caillois are found. Whilst these two ways are interrelated on a continuum in the theory of play, they have been separated in entrepreneurship discourse, where they underpin the tendency to differentiate between the hero entrepreneur and ordinary people. Finally, we engage in a more interpretive and reflective discussion on entrepreneuring as performative acts through which social orders can be not only reproduced but also transformed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 31, no 2, 206-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Entrepreneuring, play, gender, ethnography, ways and forms of play
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111808DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2014.10.001ISI: 000355895200004OAI: diva2:776677
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2015-01-07 Last updated: 2015-07-20Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Karin
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