New thinking or the 'emperor's new clothes’? : a critique of entrepreneurial mindset and public policy

Simmons, Emilee Lauran and Mawson, Suzanne and Casulli, Lucrezia (2022) New thinking or the 'emperor's new clothes’? : a critique of entrepreneurial mindset and public policy. In: RENT XXXVI, 2022-11-16 - 2022-11-18, Naples, Italy.

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Drawing on recent academic thinking on Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) as a set of learnable, individual level skills and competencies for value creation, we systematically analyse relevant public policy documents from governments in OECD countries. We set the boundaries of policy selection to documents that explicitly use the wording EM (or its translation) and analyse those using principles of discourse analysis. Through the use of the Gioia method, we distil five emerging themes which represent the policy interpretation and application of the wording EM as: New Venture Creation (NVC), Skills, NVC and Skills, Social, and finally Social and Skills. We discuss how, cutting across these themes, the focus remains on ends (venture creation and growth) rather than means (fostering individual level skills and competencies) and on fostering traditional economic structures (the firm) rather than including extensions to individuals in societies. We further discuss the implications of these "emperors' new clothes" on missed opportunities for inclusive and progressive policy that serves all in society.