Cultural confusions of enterprise and the myth of the bureaucratized entrepreneur

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Abstract:

In this paper the rise of enterprise culture is interpreted as part of a more general historical shift in the balance between the two dominant cultural elements of society, those of the market and the hierarchy. It is suggested, however, that the entrepreneurial identity that was fashioned by the advocates of enterprise was always a bureaucratically sanitized fiction that differed in critical respects from the real thing. Since the 1980s, the cultural balance has continued to shift in favour of the market, and the internal practices of business reflect this. Government, however, is nothing if not hierarchical, and it has responded to the threat of market culture in the only way hierarchies know: by an ever increasing and ever more desperate profusion of regulation.

Keywords: BUREAUCRACY; CULTURE; ENTERPRISE; REGULATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000004772913782

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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