Matthew Hancocks

Disclosing Disclosing: an immanent critique of Disclosing New Worlds as a key text in the Processual School of Entrepreneurship Studies

Matthew Hancocks

PhD student, University of Essex

Start of the project: January 2010 (part-time)

Funding: Self

Co-supervisor: tbc

Abstract: This thesis addresses the question of the ethics of disclosive entrepreneurial practice, a significant, if minority, influence in the field of processual entrepreneurship studies. In their 1997 book Disclosing New Worlds (Spinosa, Flores, Dreyfus, 1997), the authors made the claim that entrepreneurship, local civic action, and the building of cultural solidarity, are three prominent ways in which we live life at its best in a postmodern age. However, since its publication, the disclosive approach has been criticised for turning the exercising of entrepreneurial skills into the goal of entrepreneurship rather than the production of some desirable change in human practices.  On this account, entrepreneurs are preoccupied with the aesthetic pleasure of exercising their form of life much more than they are seeking to create a particular product or have a particular beneficial end as their aim. Indeed, exercising their entrepreneurial form of life becomes an end in itself.  Were this criticism to be correct, it would have profoundly negative consequences for entrepreneurship’s suitability for producing large-scale cultural and historical changes. My project develops a novel disclosive approach to reading a text as a form of immanent critique of the book in order to open up how the authors of the disclosive approach deal with the problem of the goodness of their disclosed new worlds and make suggestions to strengthen their solution.

Contact: mahanc AT essex.ac.uk

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