"Social Entrepreneurship" for A Critical Hermeneutic of Imagination

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Unlike the term ‘enterprise', which since the industrial phase primarily meant a capitalist organization with economical finalities (Berardi, 2009), ‘social entrepreneurship' has been introduced as something infinitely more emancipatory. What is at stake in social entrepreneurship is nothing less than the imagination of an alternative to the capitalist economy (Driver, 2012; Shaw & de Bruin, 2013); an alternative which places democracy, solidarity and equality (back) at the heart of the debate. When taking a closer look at this "hot word" and what it symbolizes, social entrepreneurship - due not least to its kinship with managerialism (Hjorth, 2013) and economic thought (Jones &Murtola, 2012) - is often nothing more than a cliché of its initial promise. Attempting to understand how such a conversion came about, but also to transgress the depoliticized image of social entrepreneurship, our contribution reverts to Roland Barthes' work on writing (1969; 1977) and mythology (1972) and Paul Ricoeur's (1974; 1986) hermeneutic philosophy. Premised on the idea that all symbols have two meanings (an explicit and an indirect or mythical meaning), this contribution grapples with the indirect meaning of social entrepreneurship as it pertains to ideological and utopian imagination. The guiding idea, indebted to Ricoeur, is that social entrepreneurship is not either ideological (in the sense of preserving the status quo) or utopian (in the sense of projecting alternatives to the present), but always both things at the same time. So understood, a critical hermeneutic of imagination comprises two complementary steps: first, a ‘hermeneutic of suspicion' which is geared toward unmasking the ideological operation of a given symbol and, second, a "hermeneutic of affirmation' which uses the remainder of the demystified symbol to invent other possible worlds (Kearney, 2004).

Authors Steyaert, Chris & Dey, Pascal
Language English
Subjects other research area
Institute/School IWE - Institute for Business Ethics
OPSY - Research Institute for Organizational Psychology
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 3 August 2014
Publisher Academy of Management
Title of Book Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings. 2014
Event Title 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Event Location Philadelphia, PA
Event Dates 01.-05.08.2014
ISSN 0065-0668
Publisher DOI 10.5465/AMBPP.2014.12164symposium
Depositing User Prof. PhD Chris Steyaert
Date Deposited 01 Sep 2014 10:21
Last Modified 20 Sep 2017 09:57
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/234103


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Steyaert, Chris & Dey, Pascal: "Social Entrepreneurship" for A Critical Hermeneutic of Imagination. 2014. - 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. - Philadelphia, PA.


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