• Minority entrepreneurs’ exposure and journey in business: the underpinning assumptions and actions

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Hafeez, Khalid; Hussein, S. (2015)
      In this paper we introduce Morgan’s (1986, 1997) eight metaphors for making sense of entrepreneurs’ motives and their view of ‘reality’. Employing Burrell and Morgan’s (1979, 2003) four paradigms for the analysis of organisational theory, we propose a methodology to capture the ‘longitudinal’ journey of minority ethnic entrepreneurs’ original motives for setting up business; and, current and future perceived image. We use a deductive approach by developing a multiple-choice questionnaire based on eight metaphors. The data is collected from 30 small business owner managers/entrepreneurs based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Our initial findings show that the assumptions of most of the respondents conform to the “functionalist” paradigm that place emphases on order, objectivity, rationality and tangible view of ‘reality’. Accordingly most of the respondents selected the functionalist metaphors like ‘Brain’, ‘Machine’ and ‘Psychic Prison’. Interestingly, most of the respondents selected and re-selected functionalist paradigm to indicate their past and future aspirations, perhaps due to their need for business stability and to subside any insecurity feelings with regards to their future. However, interestingly many respondents selected “radical Humanist” or “interpretivist” paradigms to map their current situation. These paradigms portray relatively more entrepreneurial and explorative mindset, perhaps mimicking unease with the current situation and a desire by the respondents to introduce some kind of a change in their current business and social settings. We believe that their metaphorical assumptions could determine their decision making, policy and strategy setting, and, actions. In our view our research instrument is appropriate for conducting ‘longitudinal’ studies for eliciting past, current and future assumptions of entrepreneurs.