Conforming non-conformists: semiotic manifestations of an entrepreneurial identity.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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SMITH, R. and ANDERSON, A. R., 2003. Conforming non-conformists: semiotic manifestations of an entrepreneurial identity. In: W. D. BYGRAVE, ed. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference. 4-8 June 2003. Boston: Babson College. (summary only)
Existing research has exposed the role of myth and metaphor in the social construction of entrepreneurship. This study considers the physical images portrayed, an appreciation of which presents a useful additional dimension in understanding the entrepreneurial construct. The role of image and identity is seldom considered in serious entrepreneurial academic work although it forms a concrete presentation of expectation, albeit of a stereotypical nature. The categorisation and analysis of the components of an entrepreneurial identity widens our knowledge about entrepreneurship as a socio-economic phenomenon. These images form part of the identity of enterprise, a physical manifestation of a nebulas phenomenon and act as ‘visual metaphors’. This study extends research into the entrepreneurial narrative by the semiotic analysis of entrepreneurial imagery, examining how these entrepreneurial identities and images are constructed in narrative and in the media as a semiotic formula, which surprisingly has much in common with class based, criminal iconology.