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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Cultural entrepreneurship as a tool of international business and marketing

Published: May 28, 2019


Nivedita Bhanja, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta


Cultural entrepreneurship; commercial myth making; Historical research in marketing


Through cultural entrepreneurship entrepreneurs take on the role of “cultural operators” who to gain legitimacy among the stakeholders, employ various means, entrepreneurial story-telling being one of them. In this article, we examine the concept of cultural entrepreneurship as a tool deployed in developing economic ties between India and the South-east Asian region. In the light of this, we study the role of cultural entrepreneurship as it revives accounts of the maritime history of the east-coast of India with South-East Asia. Findings suggest an approach that relies on a narrative that valorizes India having been on a ‘civilizing’ mission to the South-East region in the ancient past is much less likely to be favorably received, at a time when nations across the globe are experiencing a renewed sense of nationalism. Instead one should highlight stories of mutual exchange and assimilation of ideas. Scholarship mainly from business history pertaining to the region has been referred to.