Re-storying and visualizing the changing entrepreneurial identities of Bill Gates and Richard Branson

David Boje, Robert Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The storytelling in textual and visual re-constructions of Bill Gates and Richard Branson by their organizations produces entrepreneurial identities bound into particular social power-knowledge relations. Our purpose is to examine how these organizations, and their critics, mobilize storytelling in acts of re-storying (enlivening) or re-narrating (branding a monologic) practices using Internet technologies to invite viewers to frame the world of entrepreneurship. We use visual discourse and storytelling methods to analyze how Microsoft and Virgin Group use various kinds of entrepreneurial images and textual narratives to re-narrate and produce particular brands of capitalism. These organizations' scoptic regimes of representation are contested in counter-visualizing and counterstory practices of external stakeholders. We suggest that the image and textual practices of storytelling have changed as both entrepreneurs court philanthropic and social entrepreneur identity markers. Our contribution to entrepreneurial identity is to apply double and multiple narrations, the appropriation of another's narrative words (or images) into another's narrative, and relate such storytelling moves to visuality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-331
JournalCulture and Organization
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • narrative
  • organizational storytelling
  • re-storying
  • entrepreneurship
  • entrepreneurial identity
  • social entrepreneurship


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