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Biography & Abstract
Camilla Ferri

Camilla is Postdoc at Ca'​ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. She completed her PhD in 2023, studying “The Matter of Time: Materials from the Past in Organizing for the Future”. Currently she works on craft and entrepreneurship with a focus on authenticity work.

Craft entrepreneurship or craft entrepreneurialism? Reflections on authenticity in time and place

In a contemporary world where the knowledge economy and AI are increasingly widespread, craft is experiencing a resurgence as an alternative approach to work that prioritizes humanistic and meaningful values, capable of challenging globalized production and consumption logics. For these reasons, craft entrepreneurs are often empowered by local governments with the responsibility of social transformation, particularly in gentrified and touristified cities, where the maintenance or the establishment of craft enterprises is seen as an answer to a quest for authenticity that seems lost in today's territories and societies. But what is authenticity, actually? Management and organization studies mostly identify it in static and functionalistic terms, as a set of claims constituting a key competitive advantage for organizations that efficiently construct them. Instead, through a qualitative analysis of “craftmakers’ histories” in Italy, this work presents an idea of ‘authenticity in becoming’ as a process of weaving coherence in time and place exerted by craft entrepreneurs in their everyday work. This view opposes the one of authenticity as claimed in craft political discourses; hence, the paper provides a first critique of the “craft washing” phenomenon within the framework of entrepreneurialism

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