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‘What’s puzzling you is the nature of my game’: What the grand narrative of entrepreneurship doesn’t say


Objective: The objective of this article is to heighten awareness of the dangerous allure of entrepreneurship as leveraged by modern capitalism.
Research Design & Methods: By employing a critical dialectical approach, this work attempts to uncover the origins of the grand narrative of entrepreneurship as well as the origins of the iconic status that the entrepreneur enjoys, as it is postulated that there is a link between the grand narrative and the reverence of the entrepreneur.
Findings: A theoretical synthesis between entrepreneurship and capitalism is illustrated by unpacking the assumptions of entrepreneurship and the education thereof.
Implications & Recommendations: Irresponsible communication of the entrepreneurship narrative, particularly relating to the promise of deliverance, should be carefully considered and contextualised by governments and educational institutions.
Contribution & Value Added: Highlighting the important pitfalls that pervade current thinking on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education when only the “grand” part of the narrative is shared. A reflection around the entrepreneurship discourse within a capitalist context is offered as an unbalanced picture of what entrepreneurship offers, particularly within developmental economies. In this regard, the question that is posed for reflection of scholars who are involved in entrepreneurship, relates to the ethics revolving around ‘selling the dream’ of entrepreneurship. A plea for a more balanced approach when communicating the value of entrepreneurship, is offered as a final thought.


entrepreneurship, education, grand narrative, capitalism, critical management studies, criticality, 4IR


Author Biography

Geoff A. Goldman

DPhil in Leadership In Performance And Change (2008, University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Masters’ in Business Management (2003, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa); Masters’ in Communication Science (1996, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa); Bachelor of Arts (Honoribus) (1994, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa); Bachelor of Commerce (1993, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa). His research interests include Critical Management Studies, Morality of Business, Strategic Management, and Strategy Implementation.

Thea Tselepis

PhD in Consumer Science (Entrepreneurship and Design) (2014, University of Pretoria, South Africa); Masters in Consumer Science (2005, University of Pretoria, South Africa); Bachelors in Consumer Science (2000, University of Pretoria, South Africa). Her research interest include entrepreneurship, with, for and as creatives; entrepreneurship education and design thinking.


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