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Conforming non-conformists: semiotic manifestations of an entrepreneurial identity.

Smith, Robert; Anderson, Alistair R.


Robert Smith

Alistair R. Anderson


William D. Bygrave

Candida G. Brush

Per Davidsson

James Fiet

Patricia G. Greene

Richard T. Harrison

Miri Lerner

G. Dale Meyer

Jeffrey Sohl

Andrew Zacharakis


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.


SMITH, R. and ANDERSON, A.R. 2003. Conforming non-conformists: semiotic manifestations of an entrepreneurial identity. In Bygrave, W.D., Brush, C.G., Davidsson, P., Fiet, J., Greene, P.G., Harrison, R.T., Lerner, M., Meyer, G.D., Sohl, J. and Zacharakis, A. (eds.) Proceedings of the 23rd Babson College entrepreneurship research conference (BCERC 2003), 4-8 June 2003. Babson Park, USA. Babson Park: Babson College [online]. Available from:

Conference Name 23rd Babson College entrepreneurship research conference (BCERC 2003)
Conference Location Babson Park, USA
Start Date Jun 4, 2003
End Date Jun 8, 2003
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2003
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2003
Publication Date Dec 31, 2003
Deposit Date Mar 30, 2012
Publicly Available Date Mar 30, 2012
Publisher Babson College
ISBN 9780910897242
Public URL
Publisher URL


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