The Entrepreneurial Imaginary: the hyper-real case of the Zombiepreneur

Robert Newbery*, Andrew Jinman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Contemporary representations of entrepreneurship only reflect the past and present, not the utopian or dystopian futures that entrepreneurial behaviours may create. Given calls for alternative narratives of entrepreneurship that challenge the orthodoxy, there is a need to critique the multiple simultaneous representations of entrepreneurship and their potential impact on our future. Using Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra, this paper proposes a new epistemological way to interrogate future entrepreneurial reality through a radical hyper-real frame and an empirical deviation from the norm. The paper introduces and critiques representations that contribute an entrepreneurial imaginary based on contemporary discourse. Through viewing and coding for entrepreneurial behaviours observed in the top-30 Zombie movies, a deviant simulacrum that is far from our field is constructed. This is used to generate a new empirically derived taxonomy that challenges existing entrepreneurial representations and suggests the impossibility of a single entrepreneurial reality. Through this deconstruction, we highlight how entrepreneurial behaviours take on alternative meaning when explored through other realities. By comparing the Zombie genre as simulacra with extant entrepreneurial simulacra, we critically challenge our entrepreneurial system of meaning, providing a perspective where entrepreneurial behaviour may lead to different outcomes depending on the reality pursued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


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