Emancipated Entrepreneuring in the Nascent Commercial Spaceflight Industry: Authoring Ecosystems by Branson, Diamandis, and Musk

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  • The emancipatory perspective on entrepreneuring examines the activities undertaken by entrepreneurs to bring about change. Business ecosystems are a mode of organizing economic production that differs from markets and organizational hierarchies, and is increasingly associated with collaborative innovation, opportunities for technology entrepreneurship, and rapid technological progress. This thesis examines how business ecosystems feature in the emancipation actions of entrepreneurs in the commercial spaceflight industry. The research design is a case-based event study of three entrepreneurs and their space ventures: Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, Peter Diamandis and XPRIZE, and Elon Musk and SpaceX. Results show that business ecosystems can be emancipating – as a means for escaping constraints, in the authoring activities to enact change, and in making declarations to mobilize support, manage interpretations, and motivate change from others. Contributions include a formal operational specification for event studies using the emancipation perspective that can be applied in other field settings.

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  • Copyright © 2018 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2018


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