Stockholms universitet

Karin BerglundProfessor, stf prefekt

Om mig

Karin Berglund är Professor i Företagsekonomi med inriktning mot entreprenörskap vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.

Berglund disputerade 2007 med avhandlingen ”Jakten på Entreprenörer” vid Mälardalens högskola där hon diskuterades entreprenörskapets utbredning, såväl betydelsemässigt som till nya kontexter. Hon har därefter intresserat sig för hur nya alternativa former för entreprenörskap och innovation kommit att uppstå, som t ex entreprenöriellt lärande, social och samhällsentreprenörskap, grönt entreprenörskap, kulturellt entreprenörskap. I olika forskningsprojekt undersöker hon vilka effekter detta för får samhället, organisationer och individer. 

För närvarande arbetar Berglund i ett forskningsprojekt om kvinnors företagande på landsbygden ( samt i ett forskningsprojekt om alternativa former av entreprenörskap genom en studie av företaget Prezi. 

Berglund är redaktör för en bok om Samhällsentreprenörskap (m Bengt Johannisson och Birgitta Schwartz) och arbetar för tillfället med en bok om kritiska perspektiv i entreprenörskapsundervisning (med Karen Verduijn). Hon har publicerat sin forskning i tidskrifter som: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Ephemera, Action Research International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Tamara Journal of Critical Organization Journal of Enterprising Communities, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing. 




I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • To play or not to play: that is the question

    2015. Karin Berglund, Malin Tillmar. Scandinavian Journal of Management 31 (2), 206-218


    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.

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  • Ethnographic approaches to entrepreneurship and small business research

    2014. Karin Berglund, Caroline Wigren. Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 201-227


    Professor Paul Reynolds said in a speech that entrepreneurs quickly learn how to tell the polished stories about their journeys when they are asked by researchers and journalists about what they have done and achieved. The notion of polished stories is also recognized byWilliam Gartner (2007) in a special issue on narrative, reflecting upon the fact that he can name dozens of entrepreneurs, and he has several logico-scientific descriptions, explanations, categories, concepts and hypotheses about entrepreneurs, but he cannot say much about their stories. Consequently, it has been argued that the field of entrepreneurship studies needs new concepts if it is to take seriously the ambition to understand entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship and entrepreneuring (e.g. Hjorth et al., 2003; Johannisson, 2011; Steyaert, 2007; Gartner, 2007; Huse and Landström, 1997). In this chapter we will show how entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can be researched through the ethnographic method, focusing on understanding the social context of a certain phenomenon or person. Specifically, four ethnographic studies are introduced, which will be discussed as themes: context; the role of the researcher; the research process; and lessons learned.

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  • Entrepreneurship Education in Policy and Practice

    2013. Karin Berglund, Carina Holmgren. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing 5 (1), 9-27


    This article pays interest to the intersection between policy and practice when implementing entrepreneurship in the educational system. Taking a point of departure in Mahieu’s (2006) call for knowledge of the interplay between different policy levels and Backström-Widjeskog’s (2010) conclusion about tensions occurring when teachers are introduced to the concept, the intention is to develop knowledge about conflicts and tensions at the intersection between policy and practice. From analysing policy documents and narratives from entrepreneurship education implementation projects during a time when entrepreneurship education started to be promoted in Sweden three figures of thought are found (economic/humanistic, biological/social, and individual/collective) which are proposed to be involved in creating tensions and conflicts in the intersection between policy and practice. Theoretically, these figures of thought can be seen as a contribution to understanding processes in which the concept of entrepreneurship education has deliberately been moved, by way of policy, to the educational practice. Reflecting on these thought figures may enhance teachers’ translation processes when starting to work with entrepreneurship education in practice.

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  • Fighting against all odds

    2013. Karin Berglund. Ephemera 13 (4), 717-735


    In this paper the efforts of transforming ‘regular’ entrepreneurship to a specific kind of ‘entrepreneurial self’ in education are linked to the materialization of employability. It will be illustrated that schoolchildren, under the guise of entrepreneurship education, are taught how to work on improving their selves, emphasizing positive thinking, the joy of creating and awareness of the value of their own interests and passions. This ethic reminds us that we can always improve ourselves, since the enterprising self can never fully be acquired. The flipside of this ethic is that, by continuously being encouraged to become our best, it may be difficult to be satisfied with who we are. Highlighted in this paper is that, with all the amusement and excitement present in entrepreneurship education, also comes an expectation of the individual to fight against all odds. Recruiting students to this kind of shadow-boxing with their selves should involve critical reflection on its political dimensions, human limits, alternative ideals and the collective efforts that are part of entrepreneurial endeavours.

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  • Holding on the anomaly of social entrepreneurship

    2013. Karin Berglund, Birgitta Schwartz. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship 4 (3), 237-255


    The different shapes taken on by social entrepreneurship in contemporary society show that social goals are integrated by commercial enterprises and commercial goals are incorporated by organisations with a social mission. Combining a social mission with commercial goals is often presented as a ‘win-win’ situation. In this article, we highlight the potential tensions and conflicts created by the conflicting demands and expectations when the institutional non-profit and for-profit logics meet in social entrepreneuring. From this viewpoint, social entrepreneurship is an anomaly, which seems difficult to resolve. Despite this, we often read descriptions of social entrepreneurs as heroes, which show how social entrepreneurship is glorified and part of the marketisation of society. This article sets out to present a more complex and problematic picture of practising social entrepreneurship where the obvious ‘win-win’ situations more often appear as ‘win-lose’ and sometimes even as ‘lose-lose’. From a three-year ethnographic study of an emerging fair-trade enterprise, the concept of disharmony shows that dilemmas are part of everyday life in social entrepreneuring. Instead of posing insoluble conflicts, dilemmas light the way for the individual social entrepreneur. They are managed through temporary rationalisation; finding a way to integrate conflicting demands into the life of a social entrepreneur. Disharmony includes moments of identity struggle, but is also a learning process in which the social entrepreneur tries to understand the difference between what she does and what she actually achieves.

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  • Societal entrepreneurship

    2012. Karin Berglund, Bengt Johannisson, Birgitta Schwartz.

    Bok (red)

    Entrepreneurship generally is about creative organizing but with social enterprising this is especially so. Most social ventures cross the boundaries between the private, the public and the non-profit/voluntary sectors. This broad involvement of actors and intertwining of sectors makes the label ‘societal’ entrepreneurship appropriate. Stating the importance of both the local and the broader societal context, the book reports close-up studies from a variety of social ventures. Generic themes include positioning societal entrepreneurship against other images of collective entrepreneurship, critically penetrating its assumptions and practices and proposing ways of promoting societal entrepreneurship more widely. Providing a new conceptual framework and research methodology, this compendium will prove insightful for academic scholars. The basic concepts and illustrative cases/stories will also appeal to students and reflective practitioners.

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  • Walking a tightrope between artistry and entrepreneurship

    2007. Karin Berglund, Anders W Johansson, Maria Dahlin. Journal of Enterprising Communities 1 (3), 268-284


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to challenge a traditional image of the content of entrepreneurship, which is associated with creativity, identity and discovery recognition. Design/methodology/approach – A narrative approach is used in telling the story about the artist/entrepreneur Mikael Genberg. The story is based on interviews, newspaper material and observations. Taking this story as the point of departure, an alternative image of entrepreneurship is suggested.

    Findings – First, from a traditional Schumpeterian perspective Genberg could be portrayed as a good example of a hero entrepreneur, an archetype of the creative artist/entrepreneur. Instead Genberg in this paper is described in terms of a creative imitator. Second, the Schumpeterian “hero entrepreneur” is associated with a fixed and strong identity. This picture is challenged and replaced by a demonstration of how double or multiple identities are used in legitimizing work which is argued to be more illustrative to the content of entrepreneurship than finding the true identity of the hero entrepreneur. Third, discovery recognition from a traditional perspective is attributed to the individual, while in this case opportunity creation signifies the process of making discoveries collectively shared.

    Research limitations/implications – This study is exploratory and based on a single case, while the results cannot be taken as generalizations. Instead an alternative understanding of the content of entrepreneurship is illustrated. Originality/value – The value of this study is the demonstration of an alternative image of the content of entrepreneurship.

    Keywords Entrepreneurship, Creative thinking

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  • Using pictures and artefacts in a PAR process to disclose new wor(l)ds of entrepreneurship

    2012. Karin Anna Elisabeth Berglund, Caroline Wigren-Kristoferson. Action Research 10 (3), 276-292


    Drawing on Freire, this article elaborates on how pictures and artefacts benefit processes of 'prise de conscience' and 'conscientization' among those with powerful voices. Wor(l)d-making was unfolded in the Swedish think-and-do tank, 'the Smithy', emphasizing the intrinsically political nature of promoting 'societal entrepreneurship' (SE). New words for SE were formulated and a more inclusive world was discerned where all had a role, not just as 'helpers', but as equal members of SE practices. Pictures and artefacts enabled hitherto silenced stories to be told and created a common understanding of how SE contrasted with traditional entrepreneurship. When new words were added to entrepreneurship, it was possible to reflect on the actions taken within the Smithy in a deeper sense, not only focusing on actions for the entrepreneurs 'out there', but also initiating self-reflection on the roles all had in the Smithy, or in other settings, to promote SE.

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  • Hidden in the limelight

    2021. Lara Pecis, Karin Berglund. Organization 28 (6), 993-1017


    Innovation is filled with aspirations for solutions to problems, and for laying the groundwork for new technological and social breakthroughs. When a concept is so positively charged, the hopes expressed may create blindness to potential shortcomings and deadlocks. To disclose innovation blind spots, we approach innovation from a feminist viewpoint. We see innovation as a context that changes historically, and as revolution, offering alternative imaginaries of the relationship between race, gender and innovation. Our theoretical framework combines bell hooks (capitalist patriarchy and intersectionality), Mazzucato (the entrepreneurial state and the changing context of innovation) and Fraser (redistributive justice) and contributes with an understanding of innovation from the margin by unveiling its political dimensions. Hidden Figures, the 2016 biographical drama that follows three Black women working at NASA during the space race, provides the empirical setting of the paper. Our analysis contributes to emerging intersectionality research in management and organisation studies (MOS) by revealing the subject positions and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion in innovation discourses, and by proposing a radical - and more inclusive - rethinking of innovation. With this article, we aim to push the margins to the centre and invite others to discover the terrain of the margin(alised). We suggest that our feminist framework is appropriate to study other organisational phenomena, over time and across contexts, to bring forward the plurality of women's experiences at work and in organisations.

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  • Neo-liberalism translated into preconditions for women entrepreneurs - two contrasting cases

    2021. Malin Tillmar (et al.). Journal of Enterprising Communities


    Purpose - Contrasting two countries with different gender regimes and welfare states, Sweden and Tanzania, this paper aims to analyse how the institutional context affects the ways in which a neo-liberal reform agenda is translated into institutional changes and propose how such changes impact the preconditions for women's entrepreneurship.

    Design/methodology/approach - This study uses document analysis and previous studies to describe and analyse the institutions and the institutional changes. This paper uses Scandinavian institutional theory as the interpretative framework. Findings This study proposes that: in well-developed welfare states with a high level of gender equality, consequences of neo-liberal agenda for the preconditions for women entrepreneurs are more likely to be negative than positive. In less developed states with a low level of gender equality, the gendered consequences of neo-liberal reforms may be mixed and the preconditions for women's entrepreneurship more positive than negative. How neo-liberalism impacts preconditions for women entrepreneurs depend on the institutional framework in terms of a trustworthy women-friendly state and level of gender equality. Research limitations/implications The study calls for bringing the effects on the gender of the neo-liberal primacy of market solutions out of the black box. Studying how women entrepreneurs perceive these effects necessitates qualitative ethnographic data.

    Originality/value - This paper demonstrates why any discussion of the impact of political or economic reforms on women's entrepreneurship must take a country's specific institutional context into account. Further, previous studies on neo-liberalism have rarely taken an interest in Africa.

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  • Identity work in entrepreneurship education

    2020. Signe Hedeboe Frederiksen, Karin Berglund. International Small Business Journal 38 (4), 271-292


    Entrepreneurship education (EE) theory and practice show increasing interest in the concept of identity work as integral to entrepreneurial learning. EE offers various approaches to guiding students towards entrepreneurial identities, but critics note that these meet neoliberal manifestations of the entrepreneurial self, leaving little room for alternative identities to be cultivated in EE. Concerned with this critique, we aim to contribute to the EE literature through a detailed investigation of the identity work practices enacted in a case of EE, which explicitly seeks to facilitate the entrepreneurial identity construction of students. Through an in-depth analysis of teacher-student interactions, we identify three practices: setting new rules to activate the entrepreneurial self, playing by the rules by figuring the script and bending the rules protecting the self. Our analysis highlights the significance of resistance and notions of authenticity, which leads us to rethink the meaning and conditions of entrepreneurial identity work in EE.

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  • The Worthy Human Being as Prosuming Subject

    2020. Karin Berglund, Monica Lindgren, Johann Packendorff. Project Management Journal 51 (4), 367-377


    The projectified selfis suggested in this article as a way to advance emancipatory project studies toward improved understandings of how individuals in contemporary neoliberal societies are urged to become self-controlling, self-improving, self-commercializing, life-compartmentalizing, and deadline driven. We propose (1) a developed theoretical foundation for studies of the projectified self, based on recent writings onenterprising selves, and (2) the notion ofprosumptionas a concept for how the worthiness of this projectified self is constructed in a simultaneous process of project-based production and consumption. This is discussed in relation to the on-going studies of social media entrepreneurs.

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  • Videography - studying ethical uncertainty in alternative entrepreneurship

    2020. Annika Skoglund, David Redmalm, Karin Berglund. Society and Business Review 15 (4), 305-324


    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop videographic methods for the study of alternative entrepreneurship, with a theoretical focus on “ethical uncertainties”, exemplified in this paper by the exploration of evolving actions and unpredictable outcomes in a specific case, the Hungarian company Prezi.

    Design/methodology/approach - By first situating Prezi’s alternative entrepreneurship in the turbulent Hungarian political context and situation for the Roma population, this study presents how the methodological foundations of organizational videography have affirmed aesthetic immersion, which is of particular use for the study of ethical uncertainty.

    Findings - Following a methodological exploration of the specific research design and ethnographic reflections on three ways in which ethical uncertainties arise, this study discusses the videographic possibilities to study something as elusive as ethical uncertainty and its link to alternative futures.

    Originality/value - The political context in Hungary poses many challenges for organizations that attempt to “do good” and create alternative futures. This paper explains how this political context permeates Prezi’s entrepreneurship and research thereof, by highlighting “ethical uncertainty”. The combined contribution (paper and videography) invites the reader to think differently about the authority of research, become a viewer and reflect on their own experiences of ethical uncertainty in alternative entrepreneurship.

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  • Alternative entrepreneurship

    2018. Birgitta Schwartz, Karin Berglund, Jessica Lindbergh.


    Entrepreneurship nowadays take on new and alternative guises in society; often with the ambition to make the world more resilient in one way or another. We take an interest in this expansion of alternative entrepreneurshipand ask how we can trace the different alternative grassroots forms of entrepreneurship that are initiated for the betterment of society in the Swedish society. 

    In this paper we will draw upon three ethnographic cases that are alternative in the sense that a typical prefix is added to describe what they do (solidary, preservative, bridging) and that they seek to turn something (a mission, setting or activity) more entrepreneurial. Further we will develop descriptions of the three cases and engage in an analysis of alternative entrepreneurship by posing the following questions: 

    • What is alternative in these cases? 
    • How do these forms of entrepreneurship respond to shortcomings in conventional entrepreneurship? 
    • What kind of resilience can be discerned?
    • What alternative form does this take? 
    • How is resilience organized?
    • What is the common denominator for these cases?
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  • And now I’m free’

    2018. Sophie Alkhaled-Studholme, Karin Berglund. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 30 (7-8), 877-900


    Critical perspectives have called for the study of women’s entrepreneurship as a route to social change. This ‘social turn’ claims women are empowered and/or emancipated through entrepreneurship with limited problematisation of how these interchangeably used concepts operate. Using an institutional perspective in combination with a narrative approach, we investigate women entrepreneurs’ life stories on their ‘road to freedom’ where entrepreneurial activity enables them to ‘break free’ from particular gendered constraints. Through juxtaposing women’s narratives in the contexts of Saudi Arabia and Sweden, the relationship between empowerment and emancipation is disentangled and (re)conceptualised. The findings distinguish between empowerment narrated as individual practices to achieve freedom for the self within institutional structures and emancipation as narrated as a wish to challenge and change structures of power and reach collative freedom. The yearning for collective emancipation propels women’s stories of entrepreneurship by raising expectations for entrepreneurship as a vehicle for institutional change. Such stories may fascinate and inspire others to engage in entrepreneurial endeavours to become empowered, but whether they reach emancipation remains an empirical question to be answered. The performative dimension of entrepreneurial narratives is, however, their ability to turn emancipation into an (un)reachable object of desire, with a quest for even more individual empowerment and entrepreneurial activity, at the same time excluding other forms of human conduct as conducive for change.

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  • Responsibilising the next generation

    2017. Karin Berglund, Monica Lindgren, Johann Packendorff. Organization 24 (6), 892-915


    In this article, our interest is in what subjectivities are fostered among schoolchildren through the recent introduction of entrepreneurship initiatives in primary and secondary school. The educational terrain is but one example where entrepreneurship has been discursively transformed during recent decades from the notion of starting businesses into a general approach to life itself in the advancement of neoliberal societies. The inherently elitist and excluding position of the entrepreneurial subject is now offered to all and sundry. While entrepreneurship pedagogy is explicitly intended to be gender neutral and inclusive of all such identities traditionally suppressed in the entrepreneurship discourse, we ask what kind of enterprising selves are mobilised and de-mobilised here. Second, in what way are these seemingly gender-neutral' enterprising selves gendered? Our analysis of three recent and dominating entrepreneurial initiatives in the Swedish school system emphasises the need for activation, performativity and responsibility. The analysis also shows that gender is indeed silenced in these initiatives but is at the same time productive through being subtly present in the promotion of a neo-masculine', active, technology-oriented and responsible subject. Entrepreneurship is presented as being equally available for all and something everyone should aspire to, yet the initiatives still sustain the suppression and marginalisation of women and femininities. The initiatives specifically promote a responsible and adaptive masculine subject position while notions of rebellious entrepreneurship and non-entrepreneurial domestic positions are mobilised out of the picture.

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  • Revitalizing entrepreneurship education

    2018. .

    Bok (red)

    This edited book, Revitalizing Entrepreneurship Education, aims to provide a compilation of how insights from Social Sciences more generally have, via Critical Entrepreneurship Studies(CES), entered our classrooms. There is nowadays a range of approaches in the academic landscape in which entrepreneurship is dressed up in new ‘outfits’. With these ‘alternative’ entrepreneurships follows the construction of a moral entrepreneurship/entrepreneur, that is to be brought more in line to (understandings of) societal developments. Bringing this awareness into the classroom calls for the revitalization of some of EE’s extant approaches. It calls for developing new, fresh and challenging approaches.The authors in this volume work with issues such as reflexivity, gender, the entrepreneurial self, responsibility, awareness, creativity and vulnerability to move both themselves and students. The individual chapters in the book offer inspirational examples of adopting other pedagogical approaches, and of how they (continuously) revitalize their educational endeavours. We hope the contributions in this book will reach Entrepreneurship Educators all around the world and that they can help to ignite a spark, and to bring something new to their interactions with students; the decision-makers of all our futures.  

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  • Studying “Openness” with “Closeness”

    2018. Skoglund Annika, Karin Berglund. Nordicom Information 40 (1), 86-90


     How can we study a company’s call for “openness” and ambition to create an alternative form of entrepreneurship? Th is article introduces a videography of the Hungarian company Prezi, with a focus on their eff orts to nurture an internal organisational culture defi ned by openness, as well as a desire to address the lack of corporate social engagement and openness in Hungarian society. We follow Prezi’s work with the Roma population to better understand how the company’s social value creation aff ects the employees, and to problematise how videography facilitates “closeness” and thereby the sharing of sensibility and co-experience of such an abstract ability as openness.

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  • Women's entrepreneurship, neoliberalism and economic justice in the postfeminist era

    2018. Karin Berglund (et al.). Gender, Work and Organization 25 (5), 531-556


    Since the early 1990s, there has been investment in women's entrepreneurship policy (WEP) in Sweden, which continued until 2015. During the same period, Sweden assumed neoliberal policies that profoundly changed the position of women within the world of work and business. The goals for WEP changed as a result, from entrepreneurship as a way to create a more equal society, to the goal of unleashing women's entrepreneurial potential so they can contribute to economic growth. To better understand this shift we approach WEP as a neoliberal governmentality which offers women entrepreneurial' or postfeminist' subject positions. The analysis is inspired by political theorist Nancy Fraser who theorized the change as the displacement of socioeconomic redistribution in favour of cultural recognition, or identity politics. We use Fraser's concepts in a discourse analysis of Swedish WEP over two decades, identifying two distinct discourses and three discursive displacements. Whilst WEP initially gave precedence to a radical feminist discourse that called for women's collective action, this was replaced by a postfeminist neoliberal discourse that encouraged individual women to assume an entrepreneurial persona, start their own business, compete in the marketplace and contribute to economic growth. The result was the continued subordination of women business owners, but it also obscured or rendered structural problems/solutions, and collective feminist action, irrelevant.

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  • In the name of women? Feminist readings of policies for women’s entrepreneurship in Scandinavia

    2017. Katarina Pettersson (et al.). Scandinavian Journal of Management 33 (1), 50-63


    Policy actors seeking to stimulate entrepreneurship sometimes give special attention to women. It is not given, however, that policy initiatives for women entrepreneurs necessarily contribute to gender equality, to social change for women – such as enhancing entrepreneurship as a means to women’s well- being and financial or other independence – or to gendered change of society. We claim that the outcomes depend on the premises behind the policies. We claim that such an outcome depends on the premises behind the policies. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an analysis of the feminist approaches that are taken in policies for women’s entrepreneurship in the Scandinavian countries. We analyse how these policies argue for women’s entrepreneurship, how they position women, and what assumptions they hold with respect to women and their businesses. We analyse and compare state-level polices that have been implemented by the national governments in three Scandinavian countries; Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, during the period 2005–2015. A comprehensive analytical tool, building on six different feminist theoretical approaches, is developed. We find that, even if a liberal feminist perspective is present, along with elements of other feminist approaches, polices give precedence to economic growth in a non-feminist fashion. Over time, economic growth becomes the key focus, while feminist approaches are silenced. We observe that, in the name of supporting women, the actual aim of policies for women entrepreneurs often seems to be economic growth, and women are seen merely as an untapped, and yet not fully adequate, resource. 

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  • Provoking identities

    2016. Karin Berglund, Johan Gaddefors, Monica Lindgren. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 28 (1-2), 76-96


    This article discusses entrepreneurship in a depleted community in transition. The purpose is to develop knowledge about how discourses are used in the positioning of identity in regional development. The concept positioning illustrates how identities are provoked, challenged, negotiated and moved into identity positions that break away from the idea of imitating successful and wealthy regions; instead, locality, place and history emerge as important resources from where local actors obtain agency and recognize new opportunities. Ethnographic data of a single case were collected over a six-year period between 2005 and 2010. The longitudinal nature of the study made it possible to incorporate how local stakeholders took on new identity positions, while handling their inspiration as well as their frustration. Results show how rural change was conditioned by discourses and how entrepreneurship challenged and reframed dominating structures through interaction between entrepreneurship and community. Four discourses, expressed as dichotomies available to people in this depleted community, illustrate the interactive process of positioning: change vs. traditions, rational vs. irrational, spectacular vs. mundane and individual vs. collective. The results support research emphasizing perspectives that acknowledge interaction between entrepreneurship and context as well as discursive aspects of regional development.

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  • From feminism to FemInc.ism

    2016. Helene Ahl (et al.). The International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal 12 (2), 369-392


    Feminism in the Nordic countries was primarily formulated in terms of state feminism. The womensmovement cooperated with feminist government officials and politicians, resulting in societies that can be considered to be the most gender-equal societies in the world. Historically, the state provided for a large publicly-financed welfare sector which made it possible for many women to combine work and family through the states implementation of family-friendly policies, while simultaneously providing employment opportunities for many women. However, since the financial crisis of the 1990s, there has been a political change influenced by neo-liberal thought, in which politicians have handed over the welfare states responsibilities to the market, and, instead, the politicians have encouraged entrepreneurship, not least among women. Further to this development, there has been a change in emphasis from entrepreneurship (understood as starting and running a business) to entrepreneurialism which, in addition to a belief in the efficacy of market forces, also contains a social dimension where individuals are supposed to be flexible and exercise choice. In this article, we ask whether this entails a change in the feminist project in the Nordic countries, and if so, what the likely consequences are for this project, both in practice and in research. In order to answer this question, we reviewed existing Nordic research on womens entrepreneurship and examined how this body of work conceptualizes entrepreneurship, gender, the state, and equality. We also considered whether any trends could be  identified. We relate our findings to recent changes in government policy and conclude that the current discourse on entrepreneurship challenges, and possibly weakens, state feminism, but we also conclude that this discourse may also provide space for new forms of feminist action, in market terms. We coin the term FemInc.ism to denote feminist action through enterprise and we discuss a number of important challenges that research on this phenomenon is faced with.

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