Exploring the Discourses of Small Enterprise Proprietors.

Brendan K. O'Rourke, Dublin Institute of Technology
Martyn Pitt, Brunel University

Document Type Conference Paper

7th. International Conference on Organizational Discourse: Amsterdam, july 2006.


Over the last three decades the discourses of strategy and enterprise have developed significantly in the context of large corporate organizations and increasingly within and for the public sector. The discourses of strategy and enterprise have developed in relationship with each other and are generative of various attributes and dilemmas for the identity of the strategist/entrepreneur. This study looks at how these important discourses are deployed by small enterprise proprietors in periodical publishing in Ireland as they construct their business identities with one of the authors. Interview data from one proprietor is subjected to a discourse analysis drawing particularly on the traditions of Gilbert & Mulkay (1984), Potter & Wetherell (1987), McAuley, Duberley, & Cohen, (2000) and Wood & Kroger (2000). A key feature of the discourses is the salience of the vocabulary of the enterprise culture which is embraced, deployed, developed and yet also resisted by the proprietors.