Special Issue on Entrepreneurship and Piracy

Entrepreneurship and Piracy | Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 22 No. 4.

Guest Editor:
Steffen Roth, ESC Rennes School of Business, France

Reading:  Booties, bounties, business models. A map to the next red oceans

Abstract: This quest is for pirate maps to blue oceans. The key problem involved is that blue oceans turn red whenever these maps make their way from pirates to mainstream entrepreneurs. Pirates therefore have an essential need for maps to the next blue oceans. In drawing on form theory, this article develops a map sheet, on which it appears that, throughout history, pirates navigated social borders. An analysis of the gaps in past and present maps of social differentiation then allows for the discovery of a largely uncharted quadrant of the blue ocean for entrepreneurship and entrepreneuring.

Further links:

Capture d’écran 2014-02-20 à 13.28.31

An inter-functional comparative analysis of the Euro | Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research

Roth, S. (2014), Coining societies: an inter-functional comparative analysis of the Euro, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, Vol. 27 No. 2, 99-118.

The present analysis of the Euro looks for the marks that function systems make on what we commonly take for the European money. Clearly distinguishing between coins and currency, the Euro coins and banknotes are not taken for economic tokens per se but for storage devices that contain both economic and non-economic information. A systemic analysis of the function system references on these storage devices shows that the economy has left fewer marks on the Euro than politics, art, and the mass media systems have. We, hence, argue that “the Euro” “is” not just money with a political second mission but rather can be understood as an indicator of the relative relevance that specific function systems do or do not have for the European societies and the European society.

Organic L2

The things that go without saying | International Journal of Business Performance Management

Roth, S. (2014), The things that go without saying. On performative differences between business value communication and communication on business valuesInternational Journal of Business Performance Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, 175-191.

This article argues that analyses of value semantics in organisational image brochures, websites, and further official documents do not give information about an organisation’s ethical performance. Based on a systems theoretical definition of values, the case is made for a distinction of communication on values and value communication, the latter of which is defined as implicit form of communication. This distinction is illustrated by examples of personal and organisational value communication at Coca Cola France, Marriott Belgium, Accenture India, and two French retailers as well as a contrastive discussion of the CSR activities of Grünenthal GmbH and Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling. The findings suggest that research on business performance management by metaphor should be complemented with a focus on management by allusion, the latter of which could turn out to be effective to such extent that it finally calls for ethical concerns itself.


Fifty-two cases of value semantics copying on corporate websites | Human Systems Management

Roth, S. (2013), Common values? Fifty-two cases of value semantics copying on corporate websitesHuman Systems Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 249-265.

Abstract: The present article claims that value communication literally goes without saying. Research in organizational value communication as in corporate image documents is therefore assumed to have nothing to do with the analysis of explicit value semantics. This system-theoretical claim is supported by an analysis of corporate value semantics, which is particularly focused on the copying of value semantics from one corporate website to another. As a result, we present a list of 52 companies that have copied value statements from corporate websites of RobecoSAM sector leaders listed in the DJSI. In referring to these examples, we demonstrate that the copying of value semantics makes the best case for exercising caution when it comes to the idea that value semantics promote organizational goals (…).


Smart Regions | International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Roth, S., Kaivo-oja, J. and Hirschmann, T. (2013), Smart regions. Two cases of crowdsourcing for regional developmentInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 272-285.

Abstract: Despite a certified need for stronger ties between regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and larger networks, and despite an emerging discourse on beneficial interlinks between crowdsourcing and urban development, the relationship between crowdsourcing and regional development is underexplored. Unlike the few existing reports on voluntary bottom-up crowdsourcing initiatives for regional development, the focus of the present article is on two cases of top-down initiatives of crowdsourcing for regional development launched by institutional actors in the Swiss Canton of Valais and the Italian autonomous province, South Tyrol. The results of a comparison of the two cases suggest consideration of the strength of regional ties as factors that undermine crowd wisdom and flow as well as exercising caution with quantitative idea selection processes, at least in the context of smaller regional crowdsourcing projects.


CFP | Special Issue on Entrepreneurship and Piracy

Entrepreneurship and Piracy | Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

Guest Editor:
Steffen Roth, ESC Rennes School of Business, France

Conceptual or empirical submissions of 3000-6000 words could focus on contemporary or historical examples of pirate entrepreneurship. Who has labelled which forms of entrepreneurial activities as piracy? How has piracy contributed to regional economic development? Which particular forms of political environments have an elective affinity for piracy? How do pirates share the booty? Which forms of (self-) organisation have been realised by pirate organisations? What are, or could be, past, present or future pirate business models? Who are or have been major antagonists and allies of pirate entrepreneurs? How is piracy related to congenial concepts, such as hacking or hacktivism? How about piracy and creative destruction? Is there a measurable link between piracy and creativity? Is piracy a feature, tool, or virtue of emerging economies? What maps do pirates have of the blue ocean?

Link to Call for Papers

Subject Coverage

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

  • The history, lessons learned, and history repeated of piracy
  • Piracy, organisation and self-organisation
  • Piracy, moral and pirate codes
  • Piracy and emerging markets
  • Buccaneer and entrepreneurial lifestyles
  • Safe harbours, buried treasure and blue oceans
  • Booties, bounties and business models
  • Spaces and places, roots and routes of contemporary piracy
  • The risks, pains and pleasures of piracy
  • Lessons learned from the early days of piracy
  • Role models and examples of modern pirate heroes
  • Piracy: exit strategies and retirement modes
  • Piracy as attribute, label and brand
  • Social footprints of piracy
  • Entrepreneurial and economic policies of pirate parties
  • Priveteerism and regional development
  • Letters of marque: where to get them, and at what costs?
  • Vessels, weapons, strategies and targets of contemporary piracy

Important Dates

  • Full paper submission: January 20, 2014
  • Feedback: March 20, 2014
  • Revisions due: April 20, 2014
Capture d’écran 2013-05-17 à 09.15.41

Les deux angleterres et le continent | Journal of Sociocybernetics

Roth, S. (2011), Les deux angleterres et le continent. Anglophone sociology as the guardian of Old European semanticsJournal of Sociocybernetics, Vol. 9 No. 1-2 pp. 19-34.

Abstract: Despite its influence in Central European sociology, Niklas Luhmann’s Social Systems theory remains a marginal branch of international sociology. In this paper, the theory questions the reasons for its own marginality in general and for its marginality in the Anglophone centers of sociology in particular, with the latter still being a surprise against the background of the theory’s cybernetic roots in the US. The theory arrives at the conclusion that, while Europe, or ‘the continent’, is still perceived as old compared with the Anglophone new world(s), it still is Anglophone sociology that preserves ‘Old European’ semantics. Sociology in continental ‘Old Europe’, however, seems to have a chance of slowly being acquainted with a new, post-enlightenment mindset focused on semantics and communication rather than on humans and action.


Dying is only human | Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry

Roth, S. (2013), Dying is only human. The case death makes for the immorality of the person, Tamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, No. 11 Vol. 2, pp. 35-39.

Abstract: The claim of the present article is that human mortality makes a case for the discovery of the immortal nature of the person. Based on a clear distinction of the concepts of the human being and the person, human beings and persons are considered immortal insofar as both entities evidently do not qualify for a definition as living systems. On the one hand, human beings are presented as neither lifeless nor living systems. On the other hand, persons are introduced as lifeless systems and, as a result, immortal system. This claim is extended by the statement that, even if supposed to be living systems, persons could be considered at least potentially immortal, which is illustrated by a brief and proxy case of the person of Karl Marx.

Capture d’écran 2013-12-16 à 23.55.15

CFP Special Issue | The Gamification of Innovation

The Gamification of Innovation | Special Issue of Creativity and Innovation Management_

Guest Edited by:

Steffen Roth, ESC Rennes School of Business, France | Dirk Schneckenberg, ESC Rennes School of Business, France | Chia-Wen Tsai, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan

We welcome articles that address issues related, without being limited, to the following areas:

  • Productive Games for Product Innovation
  • The Serious Games of Change Management
  • MPOGs and Marketing Innovations
  • Offline Games for Innovation
  • Innovation Games for the Bottom of the Pyramid
  • Game, Competition, and Innovation Openness
  • Crowd, Wisdom, and Creativity
  • Games, Tools, and Design Frameworks for Innovation
  • Gamification, Sense-making, and Storytelling
  • Fun, Stress, and Creativity
  • Playing, Thinking, and Feeling
  • The Retro-Future of Ludic Innovation Management

Link to full CFP.

Capture d’écran 2013-12-16 à 23.58.42

Leaving Commonplaces on the Common Place | Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry

Roth, S. (2012), Leaving Commonplaces on the Common Place. Cornerstones of a Polyphonic Market TheoryTamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 43-52.

Markets are considered economic phenomena, which is said to be true even if markets are considered social structures, cultural fields, or simply politics, at the same time. Against this background, the present paper argues for a polyphonic market concept. Unlike the popular economy-biased notion of markets, such a concept allows for the analysis of markets in eras and areas where functional differentiation did or does not exist or play a major role. Furthermore, it turns the idea of the ultimately economic nature of markets from an axiom to a research question. In doing so, it breaks ground for research in major trends in functional differentiation and in the preferences for particular function systems featured by concrete groups, milieus or organizations.