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Re-storying and visualizing the changing entrepreneurial identities of Bill Gates and Richard Branson.

Boje, David; Smith, Robert


David Boje

Robert Smith


The storytelling in textual and visual re-constructions of Bill Gates and Richard Branson by their organizations produces entrepreneurial identities bound into particular social power-knowledge relations. Our purpose is to examine how these organizations, and their critics, mobilize storytelling in acts of re-storying (enlivening) or re-narrating (branding a monologic) practices using Internet technologies to invite viewers to frame the world of entrepreneurship. We use visual discourse and storytelling methods to analyze how Microsoft and Virgin Group use various kinds of entrepreneurial images and textual narratives to re-narrate and produce particular brands of capitalism. These organizations' scoptic regimes of representation are contested in counter-visualizing and counterstory practices of external stakeholders. We suggest that the image and textual practices of storytelling have changed as both entrepreneurs court philanthropic and social entrepreneur identity markers. Our contribution to entrepreneurial identity is to apply double and multiple narrations, the appropriation of another's narrative words (or images) into another's narrative, and relate such storytelling moves to visuality.


BOJE, D. and SMITH, R. 2010. Re-storying and visualizing the changing entrepreneurial identities of Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Culture and organization [online], 16(4), pages 307-331. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2009
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2010
Publication Date Dec 31, 2010
Deposit Date Aug 6, 2012
Publicly Available Date Aug 6, 2012
Journal Culture and organization
Print ISSN 1475-9551
Electronic ISSN 1477-2760
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 4
Pages 307-331
Keywords Narrative; Organisational storytelling; Restorying; Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial identity; Social entrepreneurship
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