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Performativity in Business Education, Management Consulting and Entrepreneurial Finance

Final Report Summary - PERFORMABUSINESS (Performativity in Business Education, Management Consulting and Entrepreneurial Finance)

Today’s business culture is characterized by a performative drive, a drive that this research project interprets through the perspective of performativity, that is, with attention to the intricate enactment of business knowledge, to the dramaturgical character of business communication, and to the generative impact of business technique. The project aimed at understanding this performative drive through a qualitative examination of a number of relevant empirical realities. The five principal achievements of the project are as follows:

A) Performativity as a concept

The project has provided a radical revision of the concept of performativity for the study of economic reality, challenging received ideas, fostering the relevance of a pragmatist approach to the subject matter, and producing an intellectual instrument adapted to the critical examination of contemporary business life.

B) Performativity and capitalization

The project has delivered a comprehensive treatment of capital understood as a performative operation, that is, an analysis of capitalization considered as a mode of valuation, signification and organization that is at once essentially cultural, extremely consequential and politically problematic.

C) Performativity in business education

The project has produced an anthropological assessment of the dramaturgical and experiential features of business education and of the crucial role that finance plays in the formation of business school identities and hierarchies.

D) Performativity in management consulting

The project has supplied an ethnographic critique of the ordinary performance of management consulting and a semiotic analysis of the production of meaning in consultancy practice.

E) Performativity in entrepreneurial finance

The project has achieved a qualitative interpretation of the cultural conditions, social consequences, moral ambivalences and political implications of financial business valuation methodologies.