Legitimacy of Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development Debates

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

This dissertation seeks to advance research at the nexus of entrepreneurship and sustainable development by moving the analysis from particular enterprises to entrepreneurship as a societal phenomenon. It shifts our focus away from entrepreneurs themselves to those who assess the relevance of entrepreneurship for the pursuit of sustainable development. In order to better understand the legitimacy of entrepreneurship as a means for sustainable development in different societal contexts, this dissertation addresses three important questions: what is expected from entrepreneurship in sustainable development, where it is valued as a solution for social problems, and how it is legitimised in a local context. Paper 1 explores what is expected from entrepreneurship in connection to sustainable development. It applies Toulmin's rhetoric theory to reveal the implicit legitimacy assumptions in European Union policy texts. The findings explain in which ways entrepreneurship is considered legitimate and for what exactly in the policy argumentation. Paper 2 investigates where entrepreneurship is valued as a solution for solving social problems by conducting a quantitative analysis across 11 different capitalist welfare states within and beyond Europe. The results present legitimacy-enhancing and legitimacy-diminishing political-institutional conditions in which groups of national experts prefer entrepreneurial solutions over those provided by the state or civil society organisations. Paper 3 theorises how entrepreneurship becomes accepted as a means for sustainable development in a local community. It develops an integrative, theoretical framework for understanding community transformation through (the legitimation of) community enterprising endeavours. The dissertation contributes to both academia and policy-making by illuminating the ideological, political and social origins of the legitimacy of entrepreneurship as a means for sustainable development. It carries out research at three societal levels and offers initial insight for the further development of a multilevel view on the legitimacy of entrepreneurship in sustainable development debates.
Translated title of the contributionLegitimacy of Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development Debates
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kibler, Ewald, Thesis Advisor
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7675-1
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7676-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Keywords

  • sustainable entrepreneurship
  • social entrepreneurship
  • rhetoric
  • policy
  • community development
  • sustainability
  • legitimacy

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