The historical dimension of the discourses concerning the entrepreneur and entrepreneurship

Alessandra Mello da Costa Denise Franca Barros José Luis Felicio Carvalho About the authors

This theoretical essay, through a historical perspective in organizational studies, seeks to identify and discuss the discursive appropriation of the idea of entrepreneurship at three different times: (a) in the classical period of the formation of capitalism; (b) in monopolistic capitalism; and (c) in current capitalism. As the discourses are not neutral, the identification of these discontinuities enable the unveiling of ideological arguments that often naturalize historical phenomena that permeate the discourses, corroborate the current resuscitation of a specific entrepreneur model and opt for the contemporary capitalist company as the central point of the process of the generation of wealth, income and employment in society. The results suggest that the (re)production of discourses in the logic of the market system nowadays allows the idea of entrepreneurship to have an important role in society: to ensure that every individual accepts as his own the goals of reproduction of the capitalist system. For this reason, this process moves away from the quest for emancipation and, instead, promotes oppressive models of individual behavior through appropriate expectations and specific forms of conduct.

entrepreneurship; entrepreneur; historical perspective; organizational studies; discourse


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