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Calling beauty to chase the beast: the role of aesthetics in the elaboration and evaluation of entrepreneurial business models

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Abstract

Aesthetical judgments play a key role in our lives. Individuals voluntary and involuntary evaluate objects and people according to aesthetical criteria, these evaluations leading to specific experiences, discourses, and interactions in various personal and professional contexts (Dewey, 1939). Aesthetical evaluation also occurs during organizational emergence when entrepreneurs "enact" the value proposition of their business in a "model", which is "exposed" to assessors (Weick, 2002). However, if aesthetics appear to be important in such entrepreneurial experience (Morris et al, 2012), they are not always explicitly acknowledged, being often considered as irrational and opposed to common representations of business as a profit-based activity (Colas, 2005). Beauty seems to be afraid of the beast. In this article, our aim is to call beauty to chase the beast by exploring the aesthetical criteria that come into play in the elaboration and the evaluation of entrepreneurial business models. First, we argue that beauty is a key minored dimension that guide entrepreneurs during the elaboration of their business models. Second, based on a "grounded" analysis of 40 business models, we show the role and the importance of beauty at different stages of business model elaboration. Third, we illustrate how business model assessors equally use aesthetic criteria in an explicit or tacit form. Overall, we discuss on the importance of aesthetical criteria for both entrepreneurs and investors in terms of value proposition elaboration and evaluation.
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Dates and versions

hal-00839466 , version 1 (28-06-2013)

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  • HAL Id : hal-00839466 , version 1

Cite

Eric-Michaël Laviolette, Miruna Radu Lefebvre, Vincent Lefebvre. Calling beauty to chase the beast: the role of aesthetics in the elaboration and evaluation of entrepreneurial business models. EGOS Conference, Jul 2013, Montréal, Canada. ⟨hal-00839466⟩

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