Project Summary

Project Description

Project Title: Performativity in Business Education, Management Consulting and Entrepreneurial Finance
Principal Investigator: Dr Fabian Muniesa
Host Institution: ARMINES (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Mines ParisTech, France)
Funding Institution: European Research Council, 7th Framework Programme
Grant Number: ERC-2010-StG 263529
Duration: 48 months (April 2011 – March 2015), extended 9 months (December 2015)

Project Summary

The world of business is a world of culture: a world of rituals, artifacts and idioms which is fit for anthropological and sociological analysis. The notion of performativity serves as a useful vehicle to analyze the culture that do characterize business schools, consultancy firms, corporations, investment banks, start-up companies and other sites of business life. This notion refers to performance in the sense of efficacy in the achievement of tasks, but also to the institutive capacities of knowledge and to an idea of practice as acting and staging. This research project seeks at providing sound social-scientific knowledge on the performativity of business through a theoretical clarification of the concept and a set of empirical investigations in three relevant areas. The first area is education in business administration. The project analyses the performativity of the case method of instruction and of similar pedagogical techniques that emphasize singularity, exemplarity and realism in the provision of meaningful and effective narratives. The second area is management consulting. The project analyses the performativity of consultancy missions and management devices, with a focus on the practices of presentation and communication used by consultants in order to construct convincing realities. The third area is entrepreneurial finance. The project analyses the performativity of business models, business plans and business cases in the orientation of investment and financing in entrepreneurial settings. Empirical investigation in all three areas is grounded in a qualitative, case-based approach. The research project aims at generating detailed and original factual evidence of the performativity of business in all three areas, and also at providing a coordinated and rigorous assessment of performativity as problematic reality in today’s risk-oriented global business culture.


Reference Ethics Committee: COPé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
Data Protection Office: Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, France
Date of Approval by Ethics Committee: December 2010
Ethics Advisor: Pr Vololona Rabeharisoa

Further Information

Dr Fabian Muniesa (PERFORMABUSINESS, Principal Investigator)
Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation
Mines ParisTech
60 Boulevard Saint-Michel
75272 Paris cedex 06 France
Tel.: + Fax: +