1-20 of 20 Results

  • Keywords: entrepreneurship x
Clear all

Article

In the late 1990s, there was considerable interest in national differences in entrepreneurial activity. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research program was developed to provide harmonized, cross-national measures of participation in business creation; business creation was considered a critical aspect of entrepreneurship. This information was considered important for understanding the national characteristics associated with business creation and its subsequent impact on economic growth. The initial effort involved 10 countries in 1999. By 2014 Adult Population Surveys (APS) had been completed 705 times in 104 countries and with six special samples; this involved 2.3 million individual interviews. While there have been changes in the administrative structure and the focus of the annual global reports, the most significant data collection procedures have been stable since 2002. The GEM APS data sets are currently the only harmonized cross-national comparisons of business creation and business ownership. Designed to provide estimates of the prevalence of both business creation and existing firms, they also allow estimates of the total number of business ventures. GEM data sets are publically available three years after completion, providing a unique resource for assessing factors affecting business creation and its subsequent role in economic growth. Systematic assessments by national experts in participating countries provide measures of the national entrepreneurial framework conditions, complementing a variety of established measures of national economic and political characteristics. There are three distinct features that characterize the GEM initiative: the unique organizational structure, the global reports summarizing annual assessments of entrepreneurial activity, and data sets assembled and made available for public use. The initial organizational structure, a collaborative arrangement among national teams, was replaced by membership in the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA) in 2004. The annual global reports emphasize comparisons among member countries, the annual national reports the country-specific situations. Both are designed to facilitate reality-based public policy. Data collection for the APS provides harmonized comparisons of business creation across countries and within-country time series. The APS data has made clear the substantial variation among countries, by a factor of 10; that national levels of participation are very stable over time; that business creation is much more prevalent in poorer countries; that all segments of society are active in business creation; and that business creation is an important catalyst for the processes that lead to economic growth. The National Expert Survey (NES) questionnaire data provides information about the nature of the entrepreneurial framework in the GEN countries. There is much to be learned about the relationships between national context, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. The unique information in the GEM data sets should continue to facilitate improved understanding of this important phenomenon.

Article

Donald F. Kuratko and Jeffrey G. Covin

The theoretical and empirical knowledge on corporate entrepreneurship (ce) has evolved in the research domain over the last 50 years, beginning very slowly and growing in importance in that time. Because of this evolution and expansion in CE research, the theoretical and empirical knowledge about CE and the entrepreneurial behavior on which it is based has progressed to a point where a greater understanding of the concept can be presented. Many of the elements essential to constructing a theoretically grounded understanding of the domains of CE have been identified. An examination of the field reveals that there are three research domains that have developed over the years: corporate venturing (either internal or external), strategic entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial orientation. In examining the evolution of CE research across five decades, the focus of CE research has varied over the years. The very early research published in the 1970s focused more on how teams could establish entrepreneurial activities inside established organizations; however, this early research was sparse because CE was not widely acknowledged nor sought in existing organizations. The 1980s saw some research into entrepreneurial behavior inside established organizations that explained how such activity could simply not exist in the structure and operations of existing corporations. Opposed to that thinking, many more researchers demonstrated that the idea of corporate entrepreneurial activity could be conceived as a process of organizational renewal. In the 1990s, researchers began to develop more comprehensive examinations of CE that focused on re-energizing companies and therefore increasing its abilities to develop innovations. The first and second decades of the 21st century witnessed a more sophisticated refinement of research topics in CE. In addition to research specific to the development of the three main domains of CE (corporate venturing, entrepreneurial orientation, and strategic entrepreneurship), there has been research on more specific areas of interest in CE including the implementation of CE, management levels, the individual corporate entrepreneur, models and metrics of CE, a deeper examination of internal corporate ventures, the international domain, firm size, family firms, ethics, and corporate venture capital. These areas illustrate the developmental expansion of interest in CE across different domains. Even with the continued expansion in the research on CE, there is so much that is still not understood nor researched well enough to fully advance the theoretical and empirical knowledge on CE. With the growing climate of disruption through external antecedents such as COVID-19, the entrepreneurial behavior of individuals within organizations becomes paramount and warrants a deeper understanding. Newer research questions on CE are emerging and further theoretical exploration should be the work of ongoing scholarly efforts.

Article

Entrepreneurial opportunity represents individuals taking action to introduce new products, services, or ways of organizing. The opportunity concept has interdisciplinary appeal and in the field of entrepreneurship it has been elevated to a defining feature, representing bedrock in entrepreneurship research. Hence, researchers have investigated the emergence and pursuit of opportunity and it has become a topic of lively debate, stemming from competing theoretical approaches designed to represent the phenomenon. Insights gleaned from these discussions and related empirical studies highlight the opportunity concept as a valuable umbrella construct that meaningfully integrates key elements of the entrepreneurial journey. It coherently ties, for example, cognitive attention and belief formation to entrepreneurial action in ways that account for the various elements that influence entrepreneurs’ contemplations of bringing forward something new. This is a generative process that encapsulates entrepreneurs initially coming up with opportunity ideas and then evaluating those ideas for viability. The beliefs generated in the evaluation of opportunity ideas drive entrepreneurial action. There are a host of elements that influence this process and by capturing them, researchers have codified entrepreneurial opportunity as a phenomenon that involves the integration of entrepreneurs’ motivations and goals with the ideas and concepts they generate, and the actions they deploy to bring their concepts to fruition. This understanding presents intriguing arenas for future research, such as work that takes an adaptive and multiple opportunity perspective along with studies that address time and timing as embedded in entrepreneurial opportunity.

Article

Institutional logics shape how actors interpret and organize their environment. Institutional logics include society’s structural, normative, and symbolic influences that provide organizations and individuals with norms, values, assumptions, and rules that guide decision-making and action. While institutional logics influence individuals and organizations, they do not exist/form in a vacuum, but rather are instantiated in the practices and patterned behaviors of actors who act as carriers of logics in specific contexts. Given the dynamic interaction between institutional logics and individual/organizational actors, research has begun to explore the micro-level processes that influence institutional logic changes to help explain how and why those who are shaped by an institution enact changes in the very context in which they are embedded. Thus, the formation and changing of institutional logics involve precipitating action—which can include entrepreneurial action. Entrepreneurial action—especially in moments of crisis (e.g., when there is a disruptive event, natural disaster, or external feature that disturbs the status quo), can function as a micro-foundation for institutional logic shifts. An entrepreneurship model of dominant logic shifts therefore reveals how crises induce sensemaking activities that can influence shifts in how actor’s see the world, which in turn motivates the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. Significant disruptions, such as environmental jolts, have a triggering effect in enabling individuals to problematize previously held beliefs and logics, allowing them to temporarily “step out of” status quo institutional logics. With prior beliefs and logics problematized, individual decision-makers become open to seeing new interpretations of their surroundings as it is and as it could be. Therefore, actors shift their dominant way of seeing the world (e.g., dominant logic) and then enact this new logic through ventures that, ultimately, can shift and alter institutional-level logics. Therefore, an entrepreneurship model of dominant logic shifts serves as an explanation for how broader institutional logics may shift as a result of the interaction between entrepreneurial action and the environment following a major disruption.

Article

The pursuit of entrepreneurship is often characterized by high levels of struggle and adversity, and even those who ultimately succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors routinely experience failures and setbacks along the way. Therefore, it is likely that individuals who are more skilled at coping with, and conquering, such obstacles in their quest for success are more apt to enter, and be successful at, entrepreneurial careers. While several factors contribute to an individual’s ability to persevere through adversity and to continue to work to accomplish long-term goals, individual grit has garnered an increasing level of attention as a key element in such persistence, particularly in entrepreneurial contexts. Grit, conceptualized as an individual’s passion and perseverance in the pursuit of accomplishing long-term goals, can play several roles in the entrepreneurial process. While grit is a potential outcome of entrepreneurial passion, it also has important associations with several key entrepreneurial outcomes. For instance, given that entrepreneurship is linked with risk-taking, grit is an asset for individuals who chase entrepreneurial opportunities. Higher levels of risk incur a greater likelihood of failure, and the ability to persist with entrepreneurial initiatives in the face of failures is potentially bolstered by high levels of grit. Furthermore, persistence against adversity can often translate into improved venture performance as a result of entrepreneurs’ continued, focused efforts at developing and improving their new venture. Furthermore, grit may play an even more important role for individuals who face heightened levels of adversity during their entrepreneurial careers. Women and younger individuals often experience unique challenges that their counterparts who are men or older do not have to face. Therefore, having high levels of grit may be an advantage in women and youth. While the relationship between grit and entrepreneurship has gained considerable momentum as a topic of scholarly interest, there are important avenues available for future research to further develop understanding of the topic.

Article

Entrepreneurship is a critical driver of economic health, industrial rejuvenation, social change, and technological progress. In an attempt to determine how to best support such an important component of society, researchers and practitioners alike continue to ask why some countries, regions, and cities have more entrepreneurship than others. Unfortunately, the answer is not clear. This question is addressed by focusing on location-based support or infrastructure for entrepreneurship. A framework based on a social systems perspective guides this examination by concentrating on three main categories of infrastructure: resource endowments, institutional arrangements, and proprietary functions. Work from the knowledge-based perspective of entrepreneurship, systems of innovation, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and resource dependence literatures is integrated into this framework.

Article

Greg Fisher

Starting an entrepreneurial endeavor is an uncertain and ambiguous project. This uncertainty and ambiguity make it difficult for entrepreneurs to generate much needed resources and support. In order to address this difficulty, a new venture needs to establish legitimacy, which entails being perceived as desirable, proper, or appropriate within the socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions within which it operates. New venture legitimacy is generated from various sources and hence has three broad dimensions—a cognitive, a moral, and a pragmatic dimension. The cognitive dimension accounts for the extent to which the activities and purpose of a venture are understood by key audiences and how knowledge about that venture spreads. The moral dimension reflects the extent to which a venture is perceived to be doing the right thing. The pragmatic dimension accounts for the extent to which a new venture serves the interests of critical constituents. All three of these dimensions factor into a legitimacy assessment of a new venture. Legitimacy is important for new ventures because it helps them overcome their liabilities of newness, allowing them to mobilize resources and engage in transactions, thereby increasing their chances of survival and success. Although legitimacy matters for almost all new ventures, it is most critical if an entrepreneur engages in activities that are new and novel, such as establishing a new industry or market or creating a new product or technology. In these circumstances, it is most important for entrepreneurs to strategically establish and manage a new venture’s legitimacy. The strategic establishment and management of new venture legitimacy may entail arranging venture elements to conform with the existing environment, selecting key environments in which to operate, manipulating elements of the external environment to align with venture activities, or creating a whole new social context to accommodate a new venture. Enacting each of these new venture legitimation strategies may necessitate employing identity, associative, and organizational mechanisms. Identity mechanisms include cultural tools and identity claims such as images, symbols, and language by entrepreneurs to enhance new venture legitimacy. Associative mechanisms reflect the formation of relationships and connections with other individuals and entities to establish new venture legitimacy. Organizational mechanisms account for manipulating the organization and structure of a new venture and the achievement of success measures by that venture to attain legitimacy. Ultimately all of this is done so that various external parties, with different logics and perspectives, will evaluate a new venture as legitimate and be prepared to provide that venture with resources and support.

Article

Véronique Ambrosini and Gulsun Altintas

Dynamic managerial capabilities are a form of dynamic capabilities. They are concerned with the role of managers in refreshing and transforming the resource base of the firm so that it maintains and develops its competitive advantage and performance. To do so, managers must develop entrepreneurial activities. These activities consist of sensing and seizing opportunities and transforming the resource base. While most studies focus on the role of top managers and CEOs, entrepreneurial activities can occur throughout the organization. Mid- and lower-level managers can also sense opportunities emanating from the market. Managerial human capital, managerial social capital, and managerial cognition are the three main antecedents to dynamic managerial capabilities.

Article

Bootstrapping is a term, a construct, and a paradigm that has attracted substantial attention from both popular press writers and scholarly researchers. In the scholarly community bootstrapping research is concerned, broadly, with studying the phenomenon of startups in resource poor environments. While this would describe virtually all startups, bootstrapping is most focused upon those resource-starved startups that elected to use only the resources existing internally to the firm or founder(s). That is, in bootstrapped firms, no financing has been attained from individuals or entities outside the firm. In practice, bootstrapping is understood as (a) launching a business with no external debt or equity, and (b) finding creative ways to manage a business launched with no external debt or equity. Most entrepreneurs bootstrap at founding. It is estimated that few (20%) take on external debt at startup; and far fewer (5%) launch with external equity. Examples of techniques employed because of the decision to bootstrap include using credit cards, drawing upon home equity and sweat equity, taking loans from family, and investing salary from one’s “day job.” There are fundamental reasons for this, both from a demand side and a supply side. From the demand side entrepreneurs, on average, are autonomous and therefore have a preference for control and a general aversion to external forms of capital, both debt and equity. On the supply side, because of extreme asymmetric information that exists between financiers and entrepreneurs, financiers often cannot accurately gauge the underlying quality of the entrepreneur/venture and are therefore reluctant to provide capital to them. With regard to outcomes of bootstrapping, though, the research is equivocal. Ceteris paribus, it appears that there is no significant difference in performance between bootstrappers and non-bootstrappers; however, contingencies likely exist. For example, non-bootstrappers are likely more prone to failure because they often take more risks. Therefore, while a few heavily financed ventures may achieve lofty success, many fail in dramatic fashion. By contrast, bootstrappers are often more cautious and therefore these firms demonstrate less variance in outcomes. Understanding of both antecedents and outcomes of bootstrapping has grown since the introduction of the construct in the late 1980s. Because of this expanded understanding, the construct has evolved from phenomenological roots to one more grounded in theory. That said, there remain ambiguities around bootstrapping, not the least of which is the existence of myriad definitions and resultant operationalizations. Partially because of these varied conceptualizations, the scholarship on bootstrapping has been somewhat fragmented and challenging to decipher. This fragmented accumulation has led to not only a literature with vivid applications and examples, but also one with little universal logic. This fact has made it somewhat difficult for a field to advance. However, insights from existing theory (e.g., signaling, cultural entrepreneurship) as well as the relatively recent development of closely related bases (e.g., effectuation, bricolage) can complement and advance bootstrapping by adding theoretical breadth and depth. When understood alongside these related lines of research in entrepreneurship, researchers are better equipped to create, catalog, and accumulate knowledge regarding bootstrapping. In turn, educators will be more effective in communicating how entrepreneurs are able to launch in resource poor environments, and ultimately achieve success.

Article

Sebastiano Massaro and Dorotea Baljević

Organizational neuroscience—a novel scholarly domain using neuroscience to inform management and organizational research, and vice versa—is flourishing. Still missing, however, is a comprehensive coverage of organizational neuroscience as a self-standing scientific field. A foundational account of the potential that neuroscience holds to advance management and organizational research is currently a gap. The gap can be addressed with a review of the main methods, systematizing the existing scholarly literature in the field including entrepreneurship, strategic management, and organizational behavior, among others.

Article

Martin Obschonka and Christian Fisch

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are intensively shaping businesses and the economy as a whole, and AI-related research is exploding in many domains of business and management research. In contrast, AI has received relatively little attention within the domain of entrepreneurship research, while many entrepreneurship scholars agree that AI will likely shape entrepreneurship research in deep, disruptive ways. When summarizing both the existing entrepreneurship literature on AI and potential avenues for future research, the growing relevance of AI for entrepreneurship research manifests itself along two dimensions. First, AI applications in the real world establish a distinct research topic (e.g., whether and how entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures use and develop AI-based technologies, or how AI can function as an external enabler that generates and enhances entrepreneurial outcomes). In other words, AI is changing the research object in entrepreneurship research. The second dimension refers to drawing on AI-based research methods, such as big data techniques or AI-based forecasting methods. Such AI-based methods open several avenues for researchers to gain new, influential insights into entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures that are more difficult to assess using traditional methods. In other words, AI is changing the research methods. Given that, so far, human intelligence could not fully uncover and comprehend the secrets behind the entrepreneurial process that is so deeply embedded in uncertainty and opportunity, AI-supported research methods might achieve new breakthrough discoveries. We conclude that the field needs to embrace AI as a topic and research method more enthusiastically while maintaining the essential research standards and scientific rigor that guarantee the field’s well-being, reputation, and impact.

Article

Alexander Bolinger and Mark Bolinger

There is currently great enthusiasm for entrepreneurship education and the economic benefits that entrepreneurial activity can generate for individuals, organizations, and communities. Beyond economic outcomes, however, there is a variety of social and emotional costs and benefits of engaging in entrepreneurship that may not be evident to students nor emphasized in entrepreneurship courses. The socioemotional costs of entrepreneurship are consequential: on the one hand, entrepreneurs who pour their time and energy into new ventures can incur costs (e.g., ruptured personal and professional relationships, decreased life satisfaction and well-being, or strong negative reactions such as grief) that can often be as or more personally disruptive and enduring than economic costs. On the other hand, the social and emotional benefits of an entrepreneurial lifestyle are often cited as intrinsically satisfying and as primary motivations for initiating and sustaining entrepreneurial activity. The socioemotional aspects of entrepreneurship are often poorly understood by students, but highlighting these hidden dimensions of entrepreneurial activity can inform their understanding and actions as prospective entrepreneurs. For instance, entrepreneurial passion, the experience of positive emotions as a function of engaging in activities that fulfill one’s entrepreneurial identity, and social capital, whereby entrepreneurs build meaningful relationships with co-owners, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, are two specific socioemotional benefits of entrepreneurship. There are also several potential socioemotional costs of entrepreneurial activity. For instance, entrepreneurship can involve negative emotional responses such as grief and lost identity from failure. Even when an entrepreneur does not fail, the stress of entrepreneurial activity can lead to sleep deprivation and disruptions to both personal and professional connections. Then, entrepreneurs can identify so closely and feel so invested that they experience counterproductive forms of obsessive passion that consume their identities and impair their well-being.

Article

Entrepreneurial activity is facilitated by the ties that connect founders and their venture to a broader network of actors. This insight on the value of social capital has been enriched by a large body of research that builds on core concepts of network content, governance, and structure. Network content refers to the resources, information and social support that is exchanged or flows between actors. Governance encompasses the mechanisms that organize and regulate the exchange. Network structure refers to broader patterns created from the relationships between actors. With these building blocks, key findings that have emerged over 30 years of research can be organized into two domains: how networks influence entrepreneurial outcomes and how networks develop over the entrepreneurial process. Core findings regarding the performance consequences of social capital underscore its benefits while identifying limitations due to decreasing returns to growing and maintaining a large network or to contingencies tied to the stage of the venture’s growth. Our understanding of the sources of network evolution and the resulting patterns have also developed significantly. As a motor of network change, scholars have emphasized the goal-oriented behavior of the entrepreneur, but recognize social relationships also engender mutual concern, obligation, and emotional attachment. From a focus on founder and founding team ties to start-up, small firm networks, the literature now spans multiple levels and accounts for contextual variation between industries and institutional environments. Advances within each of these domains of inquiry have led to rich insights and greater conceptual complexity. Future research opportunities will arise that leverage cross-fertilization of the process and performance research streams.

Article

Immigrant entrepreneurs are different, and they are everywhere. They can be unambiguously distinguished from entrepreneurs without a migration background. They operate under distinct conditions and respond to unique opportunities and challenges. They have specific motivational, economic, and social resources at their disposal, for example, ethnic solidarity and international networks. Their knowledge of languages and cultures, as well as the high pressure to integrate themselves into a new society, can be factors that stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation. It is hard to find countries with no immigrant entrepreneurs. In many places like the United States, Canada, or South East Asia, they play a substantial economic role. The ubiquity, dynamism, and significance of immigrant entrepreneurs has led to a spate of research projects since the 1990s, especially by economic sociologists and ethnologists, but also by management scholars and historians. On the basis of their work, the article distinguishes six different ideal types of immigrant entrepreneurs, even though these categories are neither clear-cut nor mutually exclusive. Necessity entrepreneurs react to blocked careers in other areas and often set up small, precarious businesses, out of which in exceptional cases more viable companies emerge. Diaspora merchants are part of commercial networks of people with the same ethnic background who live in foreign countries and trade with each other. Transnational entrepreneurs are not necessarily part of networks and do not always engage in mercantile activities. This category also encompasses individual actors and industrial activities. They are characterized by the ability to mobilize resources in several countries and facilitate activities between different countries. Middleman minorities stand between the majority society and third parties, often minorities. They fill niches that are left by indigenous businesses, which consider these areas as unattractive. Entrepreneurs in ethnic enclave economies live and work with their co-ethnics in neighborhoods defined by their group. Their main function is to cater to their own communities, often with ethnic products such as food or publications from their countries of origin. Refugee entrepreneurs leave their home country involuntarily, often driven out by violence and expropriation. In most cases their emigration is unprepared. Starting conditions in the country of destination are unfavorable. Conversely, the pressure for social integration is pronounced and can act as an impulse for self-employment. There are, however, cases in which refugees are consciously patronized or even summoned by the governments of the receiving countries, turning them into a highly privileged group.

Article

There are no clear definitions of entrepreneurship and art. It is therefore difficult to explain and theorize arts entrepreneurship education. Here, what artists think about these issues in the United States, India, and Mexico is explored. Suggestions made by artists were examined and included in the proposed arts entrepreneurship education theory. Artists stated that they do experience lack of business skills that arts entrepreneurship education can help them acquire. These business and aesthetic skill sets are needed to make a living as an artist. The Coleman Fellows Program provided an opportunity to test the arts entrepreneurship theory constructs being proposed. The results from these tests are included the article. The 2017 annual Strategic National Arts Alumni study reported that artists continue to suffer from several skill gaps. Of these, financial, business management, and entrepreneurship skills were identified as the main gaps that continue to plague artists. This is troubling because numerous educational and training efforts have been underway to address these and other skill gaps since at least the early 2000s. However, they have not closed these skill gaps. A modified arts entrepreneurship education theory is proposed in order to do so. Artists who acquire these skills should have a higher probability of success making a living practicing their art form. The article proposes three arts entrepreneurship education theory constructs, namely collaborative pedagogies utilizing the modules infusion method, entrepreneurial universities where these pedagogies can be tested and improved, and effectively managing the commodification of arts. Supporting evidence is provided for the three constructs, along with examples of the modules of entrepreneurship content for infusion. Implications and recommendations for future arts entrepreneurship education programs are provided and discussed.

Article

Poverty is more than a lack of money or an inability to afford basic necessities. It is an experience that is multidimensional and includes challenges related to literacy, health, food security, housing, transportation, safety, fatigue, underemployment, limited social networks, and limited access to many opportunities available to those in other income categories. Poverty is a pernicious global problem with unacceptably high levels persisting in spite of trillions of dollars of annual spending by governments and other organizations. While this kind of investment represents a critical lifeline to many individuals and families, it is not moving enough of them out of poverty. As a result, there is a need to explore alternative solutions and approaches. Entrepreneurship, or the creation of businesses, by those experiencing poverty is one potential pathway to a better life. Yet it is a pathway about which we understand relatively little. While the poverty–entrepreneurship interface has received growing attention from scholars over the past few years, very little theoretical or conceptual work has been done. More critically, there is scant empirical evidence on such basic questions as the rate of business creation by those in poverty, success and sustainability rates, key success factors, the role of institutions and entrepreneurial ecosystems in venture outcomes, and much more. The unique difficulties faced by these entrepreneurs can be captured through the liability of poorness, a concept which includes gaps in five types of literacy, a scarcity or short-term orientation, severe nonbusiness distractions, and the lack of any safety net. As a result, the ventures that are created tend to be survival businesses that are labor intensive, with low margins, little differentiation, no bargaining power with suppliers or customers, lack of equipment and technology, and limited capacity. These are fragile enterprises, suggesting the priority may not simply be fostering higher levels of start-up activity among the poor, but interventions that enable them to become sustainable. A beginning point in realizing the potential of entrepreneurship as a poverty alleviation tool is the development of new insights on expanding opportunity horizons of these individuals, helping them escape the commodity trap, rethinking resourcing and microcredit, and assisting with adoption of the entrepreneurial mindset.

Article

Sophie Bacq and Jill R. Kickul

Social entrepreneurship is an ever-growing and ever-changing field. Known as the process of identifying, evaluating, and exploiting opportunities aiming at social value creation by means of commercial, market-based activities and of the use of a wide range of resources, social entrepreneurship combines market elements with a societal purpose. An overview of the evolution of social entrepreneurship as a field of research from its origins in the 1980s to date, and analysis of the themes presented at The Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference over more than a decade, show how the core components of social entrepreneurship remained as the field evolved—social value creation, business model, and social entrepreneurial intentions, with the addition of nuances and complexities over time. These trends demonstrate the importance—and unique opportunities—for social entrepreneurship researchers to pursue further research on scaling, impact measurement, and systems change. Social entrepreneurship bears the promise and potential to revisit, and potentially challenge, the theoretical assumptions made in traditional entrepreneurship and management scholarship, embracing a multiplicity of salient stakeholders, other levels of analysis, or the relevance of community.

Article

Per Davidsson, Jan Recker, and Frederik von Briel

“External enabler” (EE) denotes nontrivial changes to the business environment—such as new technology, regulatory change, demographic and sociocultural trends, macroeconomic swings, and changes to the natural environment—that enable entrepreneurial pursuits. The EE framework was developed to increase knowledge accumulation in entrepreneurship and strategy research regarding the influence of environmental factors on entrepreneurial endeavors. The framework provides detailed structure and carefully defined terminology to describe, analyze, and explain the influence of changes in the business environment on entrepreneurial pursuits. EE characteristics specify the environmental changes’ range of impact in terms of spatial, sectoral, sociocultural, and temporal scope as well as the degree of suddenness and predictability of their onset. EE mechanisms specify the types of benefits individual ventures may derive from EEs. Among others, these include cost saving, resource provision, making possible new or improved products/services, and demand expansion. EE roles situate these (anticipated) mechanisms in entrepreneurial processes as triggering and/or shaping and/or outcome-enhancing. EE’s influence is conceived of as mediated by entrepreneurial agency that—in addition to agent characteristics—is contingent on the opacity (difficulty to identify) and agency-intensity (difficulty to exploit) of EE mechanisms, with the ensuing enablement being variously fortuitous or resulting from strategic deliberation.

Article

In the early 1990s business creation was receiving a great deal of attention after it was clear that new firms were a major source of job creation. There was not, however, reliable data on the prevalence of persons participating in firm creation, what they would do to implement new ventures, or the proportion of start-up efforts that became profitable businesses. This hiatus led to the development of longitudinal studies of the entrepreneurial process; 14 projects have now been implemented in 12 countries. The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) protocol was designed to provide estimates of the prevalence of individuals involved in business creation and the presence of pre-profit, start-up ventures; data on the major activities undertaken to implement a new firm; and track the proportion that completed the transition from start-up to profitable new firm. A number of challenges were involved in implementing the research program, including the development of efficient procedures for identifying representative samples of nascent entrepreneurs and criteria for determining the dates of entry into the start-up process, the transition to a profitable business, and disengagement from the initiative. Data collection is a three-stage process. The initial stage is identifying nascent entrepreneurs in a representative sample of adults. The second are detailed interviews on the start-up team and activity related to creating a new venture. The third stage is follow-up interviews completed to determine the outcome of the start-up efforts. A large number of scholars have been involved in development of the interviews and the PSED data sets have considerable information on the perspectives, activities, and strategies of those involved in the start-up process. Since the initial data sets were made available 15 years ago, there has been considerable research utilizing PSED data sets. One major finding, however, is that the firm creation process is much more diverse and complicated than had been expected. There are substantial research opportunities to be explored. A review of the major features of the PSED protocol and a summary of the existing data sets provides background that will facilitate additional analysis of the firm creation process. Four data sets (Australia, Sweden, and U.S. PSED I & II) are now in the public domain. Critical features of the start-up process have been consolidated and harmonized in a five-cohort, four country data set which is also available.

Article

Robert J. David, Pamela S. Tolbert, and Johnny Boghossian

Institutional theory is a prominent perspective in contemporary organizational research. It encompasses a large, diverse body of theoretical and empirical work connected by a common emphasis on cultural understandings and shared expectations. Institutional theory is often used to explain the adoption and spread of formal organizational structures, including written policies, standard practices, and new forms of organization. Tracing its roots to the writings of Max Weber on legitimacy and authority, the perspective originated in the 1950s and 1960s with the work of Talcott Parsons, Philip Selznick, and Alvin Gouldner on organization–environment relations. It subsequently underwent a “cognitive turn” in the 1970s, with an emphasis on taken-for-granted habits and assumptions, and became commonly known as “neo-institutionalism” in organizational studies. Recently, work based on the perspective has shifted from a focus on processes involved in producing isomorphism to a focus on institutional change, exemplified by studies of the emergence of new laws and regulations, products, services, and occupations. The expansion of the theoretical framework has contributed to its long-term vitality, though a number of challenges to its development remain, including resolving inconsistencies in the different models of decision-making and action (homo economicus vs. homo sociologicus) that underpin institutional analysis and improving our understanding of the intersection of socio-cultural forces and entrepreneurial agency.