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The discursive formation of 'seriousness' in the ship canal rat race between Panama, Mexico and Nicaragua
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4951-4171
2017 (English)In: Contextualizing entrepreneurship in emerging economies and developing countries / [ed] Marcela Ramírez-Pasilla, Ethel Brundin & Magdalena Markowska, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017, p. 105-128Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In entrepreneurship research, there is lack of in-depth and context-sensitive studies on mega-scale projects: ‘While urban entrepreneurialism and megaprojects have been discussed in academic literature for almost three decades, there are too few case studies which delve into the specific visions guiding these projects, the goals which they are meant to achieve and the positions which different actors play’ (Doucet, 2013: 2035). Given the magnitude of and competition between the existing mega-ship canal in Panama, the planned mega-ship canal project in Nicaragua and the planned port/railway/road/airport project in Mexico, the purpose of this study is to explore how ‘seriousness’ is contextually constructed in the communicative practices of these three cases. For this, I conducted a content analysis (Gioia et al., 2012) of the communicative practices followed for these three cases. The concept of ‘seriousness’ used in this chapter to analyze three cases of mega- and meso-scale entrepreneurship is theorized in scholarly literature on Greek tragedies and is focused on the use and function of the ‘prologue’: A prologue is an introduction to and framing of a story that provides details about the story’s background and its main characters. One crucial feature of a prologue is a quality that Segal (1992: 92-93) labels ‘seriousness and cosmicity’. He defines this quality by saying; ‘To win authority, the prologue must convince us of the seriousness of its contents.’ Furthermore, the prologue must demonstrate a connection between ‘the crisis of the moment and the remote beginnings of all things’ (Segal, 1992: 92-93, in Parsenios, 2010: 46). Applied to this study, the debates and discussions around the three planned canal projects are analyzed as prologues to the (eventual) actualization of the projects, where debaters and discussants try to win authority over the projects by trying to convince their audiences. They do so by emphasizing the seriousness of the project’s content as well as by anchoring the project in remote beginnings and trying to show how these are linked to contemporary tensions and even crises.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017. p. 105-128
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-84049DOI: 10.4337/9781785367533.00014Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85021030796ISBN: 9781785367533 (electronic)ISBN: 9781785367526 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-84049DiVA, id: diva2:1318675
Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2019-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Lundberg, Hans

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