Episode 14: The Language of Entrepreneurship – part 1

Talking about entrepreneurship

We begin the first episode of the new mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship by discussing associations with, and definitions of, entrepreneurs. Bernard quotes one definition from Investopedia, a website for investors.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We then go on to talk about local businesses and what they call themselves. If you read German, you may enjoy this article on names for hairdressers’ shops. Bernard mentions various categorisations of entrepreneurs (see here) and how one type may not regard the other as a “real” entrepreneur

One category of entrepreneur is the ‘mumpreneur’. For academic work on mumpreneurs, and female entrepreneurs more widely, see:

We continue the first part of the episode by talking about the value set on entrepreneurial thinking and attitudes, especially at universities. Veronika mentions examples from the hosts’ employers:

University of Ghent (Bernard): Centre for Student Entrepreneurship, https://www.durfondernemen.be/en/ 

Aston University (Erika): Start-up support for graduate entrepreneurs, https://b-seen.biz

Lancaster University (Veronika): Entrepreneurs in Residence, https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/business/community/entrepreneurs-in-residence/

For critical views on enterprise culture and entrepreneurial universities, see:

  • Fairclough, N. (1993). Discourse and cultural change in the enterprise culture. In Graddol, D., Thompson, L., & and M. Byram (eds), Language and Culture. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 44-54.
  • Mautner, G. (2005). The entrepreneurial university: A discursive profile of a higher education buzzword. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(2), 95-120.

You can watch Steve Jobs introduce the iPad here:

While the iPad may be a useful invention, check out this Instagram account for some useless inventions 😂😃🤪

During the interview with Munene Khoza, Veronika mentions an interview study she did with language professionals. Here’s the reference: 

  • Koller, V. (2017). Language awareness and language workers. Language Awareness, 27(1-2), 4-20. 

The business plan we analyse in the final part of the episode, and other examples, can be found at https://www.startups.com/library/expert-advice/top-4-business-plan-examples 

Veronika mentions small stories during the analysis, an idea from recent narrative theory (see also episode 7 of the podcast, on storytelling): 

  • Georgakopoulou, A. (2007). Small Stories, Interaction and Identities. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

See you again for the next part of the mini-series on the language of entrepreneurship!

Listen to the episode here

Meetings and Conflicts Words and Actions

Are you suffering from zoom fatigue, meeting migraines or the occasional shark bite? Have a listen to our next episode and find out more about office diary sweet spots, biochronology, meeting categorizations and how to deal with sharks in conflict resolution. As always, we bring in the expert advice of an academic and we’ll discuss the added value of the Quaker peace testimony with a workplace mediator. In the analysis, we’re heading for the deep waters of the notorious Handforth parish council meeting. There will be blood. For more info and a transcript head over to http://www.wordsandactions.blog. Episode 18 is on meetings and conflicts, so for the academically minded among our listeners, here are three sources of linguistic and conversation analytical research into meetings: Handford, M. (2010). The language of business meetings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Incidentally, Michael Handford was our first ever interview guest, way back in episode 1.] Handford, M., & Koester, A. (2019). The construction of conflict talk across workplace contexts: (Towards) a theory of conflictual compact. Language Awareness, 28(3), 186-206. Holmes, J., & Marra, M. (2004). Leadership and managing conflict in meetings. Pragmatics, 14(4), 439-462. The study about “collaboration overload” that Bernard cites at the beginning of the episode is reported on here. The second study he refers to, by online scheduling service When Is Good, is reported on here. (Note that the article also mentions the Quaker practice of starting a meeting with silence, which anticipates our first interview later in the episode.) Erika follows up on this with a study that demonstrates how the time of day when an earnings conference call is scheduled can influence the positivity (or lack thereof) of analysts’ and managers’ tone: Chen, J., Demers, E., & Lev, B. (2018). Oh what a beautiful morning! Diurnal influences on executives and analysts: Evidence from conference calls. Management Science, 64(12), 5461-5959. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2017.2888 It’s important to note that meetings take very different forms, involve different people and have different purposes. We describe a diagram which can be found on our website http://www.wordsandactions.blog. Moving on to conflicts, Erika and Veronika have written about types and stages of conflicts, and about people’s conflict styles, in chapter 9 of their textbook: Darics, E., & Koller, V. (2018). Language in Business, Language at Work. London: Palgrave Macmillan Education. You can test your own conflict resolution style with the Thomas-Kilmann questionnaire. In the first interview, with coach and workplace mediator Allegra Stone, we talk about how her Quaker beliefs influence her work. Quakers in Britain have published a toolkit about engaging with conflict that is based on their peace testimony. Our second interview guest, Bernadette Vine, is a member of the Language in the Workplace project at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (Te Herenga Waka, Aotearoa). A few of her recent publications are: Lazzaro-Salazar, M., Marra, M., Holmes, J., & Vine, B. (2015). Doing power and negotiating through disagreement in public meetings. Pragmatics and Society, 6(3), 444-464. Vine, B. (ed.) (2018). The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace. Abingdon: Routledge. Vine, B. (2020). Introducing Language in the Workplace. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In the last part of the episode, we analyse the now infamous Handforth parish council meeting from February 2021. In the next episode, we’ll be looking at the related topic of negotiations.
  1. Meetings and Conflicts
  2. The language of Entrepreneurship (3): Creativity in language and visual communication
  3. New Year’s Special: 2020 Through the Language Lens
  4. The language of entrepreneurship (2): Pitches and presentations
  5. The Language of Entrepreneurship (1): Talking about Entrepreneurship

Full transcription of the episode

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