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Abstract There are many images of entrepreneurship which all pay attention to the importance of social capital. Nevertheless, these understandings of entrepreneurship do not tell us about the capabilities and social ingenuity that people hit by a natural or man-made catastrophe may evoke. We have studied how the effects of the hurricane Gudrun, which hit southern Sweden in January 2005, were dealt with by civic and formal, private as well as public, organizations. The lessons from our rich case accounts are reflected upon in the perspective of ephemeral organizing and used to craft our notion of 'emergency entrepreneurship'. Its proposed features include coping with rupture in everyday life by the acknowledgement of local knowledge and leadership and the use of bridging as well as bonding social capital facilitating immediate (inter)action and swift trust. This appears as a spontaneous collective effort, 'social bricolage', which means combining and locally--in time as well as in space--integrating chunks of everyday routines according to the events and associated needs that the drama produces.
Keywords: emergency entrepreneurship, social capital, natural catastrophe, ephemeral organization, Sweden
Social capital, as reflected in entrepreneurial networking, is a growing research field, see, for example, Johannisson (2000). Although, Davidsson and Honig (2003) as well as Neergaard and Madsen (2004) argue that this research has to be intensified. A reasonable explanation for this is that both entrepreneurship and social capital invite multiple interpretations. While some researchers, from Mintzberg (1973) to Shane (2003), present entrepreneurship as a special kind of management, others see entrepreneurship as social creativity (Hjorth et al. 2003; Gartner et al. 2003; Steyaert 2004). In this paper we especially associate entrepreneurship with imaginative ways of dealing with challenges that unexpectedly hit people in their everyday life context. Entrepreneurship then is approached as a societal phenomenon practising creative organizing.
Views as regards the constitution of social capital and how it is related to social networking vary as well. Borgatti and Foster (2003: 993) define social capital as "the value of connections" and they divide research into two main groups: structuralist approaches, focusing on the very links in the network, see for example Burt (1992; 1997), Putnam et al. (1993) and Coleman (1988); and connectionist approaches, where social capital is seen as produced by the network, see for example Lin (1999), and Kim and Aldrich (2005). Social capital is, however, mainly associated with economic value referring to "the ability of actors to extract benefits from their social structures, networks and memberships" (Davidsson and Honig 2003: 307). The general social-network view, though, is productive since on the one hand it demonstrates how the entrepreneurial firm may reach resources outside the firm, on the other it points out that all economic activity is socially embedded (Granovetter 1985; Johannisson 2000).
With these broad images of entrepreneurship and social capital in mind we want to invite the reader into the context of the hurricane Gudrun, which we argue has triggered regional entrepreneurial processes and activated dormant social capital. Late on the evening of 8 January 2005, a heavy storm struck Kronoberg and its neighbouring counties in the south of Sweden, causing blocked roads, power lines torn into pieces, destroyed property and incapacitated institutions responsible for the infrastructure. Hitting 5 percent of the forestry area of Sweden, Gudrun tore down 80 million cubic meters; equal to one year's lumbering for the entire Swedish forestry. 253,000 households and organizations were left without power, the majority also without any telephone connection. Gudrun caused by far the greatest damage ever to the elaborate Swedish infrastructure. The public institutions and other formal organizations did not have the resources or power to cope with the crisis, especially not in the rural areas. Instead a number of initiatives were taken by private organizations, communities and individuals committed to the locality. And it is here, in the in-betweens of different organizational settings, that our story takes place.
The purpose of this paper is thus to inquire into the interface between entrepreneurship and social capital as reflecting/reflected in reputation/ mutual trust and a rationality based on care. First, we elaborate upon our understanding(s) of entrepreneurship and the associated alternative images of social capital, and how these qualities are constituted as individual and/or societal features. Following that, we present the design of field research that reports what entrepreneurial practices local people adopted in order to cope with the outcome of Gudrun as a natural catastrophe. Then we report and reflect upon the stories told by those involved. In the following section the organizational creativity triggered inside local communities is juxtaposed with lessons gained from an intervention in a similar empirical setting and conceptualized as a different form of entrepreneurship. Finally we provide some reflections upon our inquiry.
IMAGES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SOCIAL CAPITAL
In this section we elaborate on alternative appearances of entrepreneurship and how social capital presents itself in these images. Mainstream research presents entrepreneurship as a proactive rational economic activity aiming at systematically identifying existing opportunities, preferably radical innovations, on the market and at allocating the necessary resources in such a way that these opportunities are efficiently exploited. Bounded rationality due to lacking information concerning, for example, markets and resources then means that entrepreneurial venturing is associated with risk (see, for example, Shane and Venkataraman 2000; Shane 2003). This view, here addressed as the 'opportunity-based' perspective, suggests that boundaries in social space are crossed by intentional, i.e. strategic, change, for example the introduction of new products or processes or opening up new product or factor markets. Bridging social capital (Davidsson and Honig 2003; Wallis and Killerby 2004), that is networking with a focus on weak ties, makes it possible to master 'structural holes' in the market (Burt 1992), while bonding social capital or strong ties are often seen as initially important but also potentially hindering more long-term market-based development as they produce closure (Granovetter 1973). Reputation/trustworthiness and legitimacy are in this perspective considered as means of exploiting (existing) opportunities and accessing resources that would otherwise not be available, by Starr and MacMillan (1990) addressed as 'social contracting'. This instrumental view of entrepreneurship calls for trust anchored in previous experience demonstrating competence but is also justified for resisting the temptation to take advantage of the other party's vulnerability.
A contrasting view of entrepreneurship, here labelled 'enactive entrepreneurship', associates entrepreneurship with social creativity, in the sense that the negotiation of a shared reality is generic and that several arenas for venturing besides the market are visited. New opportunities are in this perspective interactively constructed and realized as a result of coincidences and chance, shaping ultimately new worlds for those who take initiatives as well as for others (Spinosa et al. 1997). In a socially constructed world of becoming the practice of entrepreneurship concerns coping with ambiguity (Johannisson 1992; Weick 1995). Then the setting is characterized by information overload, not lack of information that produces risky, sometimes even uncertain, situations. According to Sarasvathy (2001), entrepreneurs practise a logic of 'effectuation' and not of control in order to take advantage of the full potential of ambiguous settings. Ongoing sense-making processes challenge socially constructed boundaries in mental space and, in addition, call for a vocabulary that acknowledges the affinity between entrepreneurship and emotions and aesthetics rather than with cognitive facts alone. Entrepreneurial processes are initiated by curiosity, organized by spontaneity and intrinsically driven by passion and joy (Hjorth and Steyaert 2003; Hjorth et al. 2003). Opportunities to explore and associated tactics to exploit these emerge in parallel (Gartner et al. 2003). According to this 'enactive' view, all human beings and all societies carry generic entrepreneurial capabilities and energy. If and how they become activated in different societal sectors depends on the institutional setting (Baumol 1990). Ventures crystallize out of personal networks, where relations are as much existentially as instrumentally defined, practised as much for crafting individual and collective identity as for actualizing new undertakings (Johannisson 2000). Social capital itself appears as the very process of relating (Anderson and Jack 2002). Trust means a general belief in the good will of others and their commitment to participate in dialogues for negotiating new realities.
In Table 1 the key features of …