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Friederike Welter

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Friederike Welter

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Friederike Welter

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Friederike Welter

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Friederike Welter

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Friederike Welter

This paper sets out to explore contexts for entrepreneurship, illustrating how a contextualized view of entrepreneurship contributes to our understanding of the phenomenon. There is growing recognition in entrepreneurship research that economic behavior can be better understood within its historical, temporal, institutional, spatial, and social contexts, as these contexts provide individuals with opportunities and set boundaries for their actions. Context can be an asset and a liability for the nature and extent of entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship can also impact contexts. The paper argues that context is important for understanding when, how, and why entrepreneurship happens and who becomes involved. Exploring the multiplicity of contexts and their impact on entrepreneurship, it identifies challenges researchers face in contextualizing entrepreneurship theory and offers possible ways forward.

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Friederike Welter

This article critically reviews the literature pertaining to trust and entrepreneurship, highlighting the diversity and complexity of this construct. In addition, the interdependency of trust with context, as well as its dual nature in relation to control and as a sanctioning mechanism, is explored. Trust can be both a dispositional and a behavioural outcome; ‘genuine’ (personal) trust, sanctions and control coexist and co-evolve within and across different contexts. Trust influences entrepreneurship, not always positively, but entrepreneurial behaviour also has an impact on levels of personal and institutional trust. Future studies of trust and entrepreneurship need to acknowledge the bright and dark sides of trust, its duality and the different contexts in which it occurs. Ultimately, we need to develop a far more critical analysis of the importance and role of trust in the context of entrepreneurship.

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Friederike Welter

As I sat down to reflect on my contributions to entrepreneurship research and what motivated them, I quickly realized that I needed to examine my own academic upbringing and early research activities. Looking back, my research ideas have been formed both by what I studied and by the variety of contexts to which my subsequent work has taken me. And my context ideas have also been formed by all the scholars, practitioners and policy makers from around the world I have been fortunate enough to be inspired by and to work with. Across what otherwise seems a diverse - perhaps even too diverse - list of research interests, the notion of context provides a common thread and unifying theme. I believe it is the great variety of contexts in which I had the opportunity to work that has greatly sensitized me to the role of context in creating the differences that make both the world and good theory interesting. The great variety of contexts has also made me intolerant of “universalizing” claims that endorse the belief that entrepreneurship is the same as we move through time or across places. My work has tried to appreciate that understanding differences are important both for building both theory and policy. In the following, I will relate in more detail how the context theme started to emerge throughout my studies and early research career and how a whole array of different research streams over time have fed into my understanding and appreciation of that, how and why context matters and what to do with this insight.