Videoetnografi om "alternativt entreprenörskap"

År: 2015 // Projektledare: Annika Skoglund // Medsökande: Karin Berglund, Stockholms universitet & David Redmalm, Uppsala universitet // Anslagsförvaltare: Uppsala universitet // Område: Ekonomi // Belopp: 5 013 186 kr

 

 

Vår forskning

Videoetnografi om "alternativt 
entreprenörskap" – stimulerande
av öppenhet och antirasism på Prezi

I spåren av den ekonomiska krisen har forskare och praktiker upprepade gånger efterfrågat mer ansvarsfulla företag. Det Ungerska ICT-företaget Prezi är ett typexempel på hur företag idag faktiskt tar ökat ansvar, till och med genom att adressera provokativa sociala och politiska problem. Prezi arbetar intensivt med öppenhet för sexuella minoriteter och fostrar antirasism i relation till den romska befolkningen.

Däremot vet vi mycket lite om hur företags kärnverksamhet omvandlas när de försöker lösa sociala och politiska problem. Prezi utgör ett rikt case för att skapa förståelse kring detta, särskilt som företaget är inspirerat av en nyliberal styrning som eftersträvar effektiv ansvarsfördelning mellan företag, stat och medborgare. Så hur är den interna kärnverksamheten och fostrandet av kreativitet inom Prezi kopplat till bredare sociala och politiska problem? Hur kan vi förstå detta som en form av "alternativt entreprenörskap"?

Vi svarar på dessa frågor med hjälp av videoetnografi, där vi kommer att filma och producera dokumentärer om de anställda och företagets samverkan med andra företag och icke-statliga organisationer (NGOs). Vi kommer vidare att utforska teoribildning kring "alternativt entreprenörskap", det vill säga former av entreprenörskap som inte enbart strävar efter ekonomisk lönsamhet, utan som eftersträvar socialt och politiskt välstånd.

Following Prezi at the Budapest Pride Parade 2017

Researching ‘alternative entrepreneurship’ in Hungary entails engagement in a changing political landscape.  Prior to this year’s Pride Parade, during which …

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Research

In the wake of the economic crisis, scholars and practitioners have repeatedly called for more responsible businesses practices (Financial Times, 2014). With vivid engagements in provocative social and political problems, Prezi, the Hungarian/US ICT (Information and Communication Technology) company, is a case in point. Founded upon the social mission of ‘idea sharing’, Prezi seeks to stimulate a belief in change world-wide (Prezi, 2014). Prezi’s founders and current managers believe that creativity is fundamental not only to problem solving but for pro-active ‘change making’. For this reason, Prezi has designed a zooming presentation tool that facilitates for their users to unite diverse ideas, with the wish to amplify a creative effect via idea sharing. In addition to this core social mission of ‘change making’, the company also engages in more specific projects of social betterment in Hungary, to foster their employees to believe in change. Prezi works intensively on openness to sexual minorities (Prezi, 2010) and on anti-racism towards the Roma population (Prezi, 2013). 

However, we know very little about the transformation of businesses’ core activities when they take social and political missions as their target. Prezi is an exemplary case to study if we wish to better understand how companies that deploy management strategies inspired by a (United States) neoliberal culture addresses social problems in Central and East European countries. In Hungary, Prezi seeks to ‘responsibilize’ its employees to become providers of some sort of social security (compare Rose, 1999), sometimes in stark opposition to local and central state politics. With full access to the company, we will be able to analyse how employees engage in two intricate social and political problems, and how Prezi forms partnerships with other companies and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), to create an alternative form of entrepreneurship. We thus ask: How is the internal core operations and cultivation of creativity within Prezi coupled to broader social and political problems? How can we understand this as a form of ‘alternative entrepreneurship’? 

We wish to explore above questions by two videographic studies of 1. The cultivation of ‘openness’ 2. The cultivation of anti-racism. (See below sections for description of each project in relation to ‘alternative entrepreneurship’.) Videography is an ethnographic study that uses visual tools (Pink, 2006). This method makes it possible to pursue an in depth empirical study as ‘video ethnographers’ who can provide with ‘visual collages’ (Belk & Kozinets, 2005: 134) and a film archive. Videography is not only methodologically underexplored, but also neglected in the advancement of pedagogy and new teaching methods. Moreover, applying this method means that we will be able to use the research project for other ends than scientific publications only. We plan to build a film archive to develop teaching cases and for spreading the research results in a more effective way. In addition to normal academic national and international presentations, the main research project outcomes are: 

• Two short documentaries 
• One final long documentary which summarizes the two social/political missions over time 
• Three conference publications 
• Three publications submitted to peer-review journals 
• Two film screening events 
• Pedagogic materials and methods for new master courses at Indtek, UU 
• Potential additional publications together with the international guest researchers