The important role that universities may play in stimulating entrepreneurial activity is increasingly emphasized within academic and policy discourses. Specifically, it is recognized that interactions between academic institutions and commercial organizations may facilitate entrepreneurial activities such as licensing, spin-off formation, academic consulting and sponsored research. This chapter explores how a university–industry partnership facilitated the development of an open innovation platform. The case of Unilever and the University of Liverpool is explored to highlight the ways in which open approaches to partnership can facilitate innovation and entrepreneurial activity. It is argued that universities can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship beyond the formal transfer of intellectual property rights. Specifically, we suggest that the co-creation of open innovation platforms may be a more effective stimulant for regional innovation and entrepreneurship than the formal transfer of IP, which has been the predominant focus in much of the extant literature regarding academic entrepreneurship.
Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn, Denise Fletcher and Friederike Welter
Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn and Silke Tegtmeier
This chapter aims – both through the chapters included in this volume and by revisiting some of the earlier volumes – to take stock and elaborate on the possible future directions for European entrepreneurship research. The chapter suggests the features of European entrepreneurship research contextual embeddedness, methodological diversity and distinctive clusters that, in combination, have resulted in versatile contributions that characterize the European entrepreneurship research field.
Trevor Jones, Monder Ram and María Villares-Varela
The arrival of Kloosterman and colleagues’ ‘mixed embeddedness’ perspective at the turn of the twenty-first century reinforced the importance of context to the study of ethnic minority entrepreneurship. It countered the primacy of culturalist tropes, and emphasized the political, economic, sectoral and spatial contours of migrant business activity. We present a brief historical reprise, drawing in particular on the experiences of migrant entrepreneurs in the UK. The contribution of mixed embeddedness is important, but scope remains to advance the perspective, particularly by: more comparative research; foregrounding racism; an intersectional stance; and acknowledging the social function of migrant businesses.
Satu Aaltonen and Elisa Akola
What is the role of trust and bridging social capital in immigrant business owners’ start-up processes? We tackle this question by interviewing immigrant business owners in Finland. The chapter applies a novel synthesis of Nahapiet and Ghoshal’s (1998) three-dimensional model of social capital and Höhmann and Malieva’s (2005) categorization of the forms of trust to case studies chosen from an original data set of 64 interviews. Incidences of both trusting and distrusting were recognized, and we identified the behavioural patterns or factors that build trust or damage it. These incidences were used to validate the combined trust and social capital framework.
Karin Axelsson, Linda Höglund and Maria Mårtensson
The chapter takes a discourse approach drawing upon governmentality and the concepts of programme and technology. It focuses on how a programmatic initiative – a strategy for implementing entrepreneurship in schools – is made operable in practice by means of a technology: a competence development initiative. The results illustrate the process of how entrepreneurship gets translated into a new discourse based on an entrepreneurial approach, which takes on a broader perspective including life-long learning, co-operation with the society and democratic values, thus stretching the programme beyond its initial intentions. Moreover, the entrepreneurial approach could bring unintended consequences, which the discourse so far has tended to marginalize or even exclude. The chapter questios what is often taken for granted when it comes to entrepreneurship in schools, the tenet that wwhat is good for business is good for education and society at large’.
The chapter studies division of responsibilities and roles between work and family spheres. It specifically analyses discursive practices concerning the division of tasks at home and at work, paying close attention to how those practices are gendered and embedded in cultural settings. The research is based on qualitative in-depth interviews. Our theoretical approach is social constructivism: we understand entrepreneurial and gender roles not as something stable but rather as something negotiated, constantly, during social interactions. The research reveals five repertoires: traditional, competence-based, responsibility, collective and function-based. It becomes apparent that the repertoires are strongly embedded in the traditional division of roles in Slovakian society. We show the specificity of the Slovakian context as post-socialist country. The research unveils the (also gendered) nature of the element of romantic relationship (partnership), which is specific to copreneurial couples and may justify the gender division as well as compensate for it.
Francesca Maria Cesaroni and Annalisa Sentuti
In this chapter, we analyse daughters’ positions in family businesses and reasons beyond those, including daughters’ personal preferences and motivations. The purpose of the chapter, in particular, is to understand how daughters’ desires and expectations contribute to determining the role they actually play in the family business and if this role is consistent with their ambitions. A multiple case study has been carried out to gather data through in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Case analysis made it possible to identify a typology of four daughters’ profiles, characterized by a different combination between daughters’ expectations and their actual roles in their family business.
Daniel Yar Hamidi
This chapter aims theoretically and empirically to balance firm internal and external perspectives on board work and chairpersonship in the empirical setting of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The chapter advances our understanding of the effects of chairpersons on building dynamic capabilities towards innovativeness in SMEs. We apply and integrate a team production perspective with strategic management research to examine the effects of chairpersons’ leadership, knowledge and experience on building dynamic capabilities. We develop hypotheses and test these on data from multiple respondents in 315 small and medium-sized Norwegian enterprises. Our results show that chairperson leadership has a strong significant effect on firms’ ability to build dynamic capabilities. We also demonstrate in our analysis that chairpersons’ firm-specific knowledge has a robust positive association with firms’ abilities to build dynamic capabilities. However, our examination also reveals that chairpersons’ industry experience has a moderate reverse effect on firms’ abilities to build dynamic capabilities.