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Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn, Denise Fletcher and Friederike Welter

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Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn, Denise Fletcher and Friederike Welter

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Bengt Johannisson, Jan Alpenberg and Pär Strandberg

There is an increasing gap between the contemporary academic and political concern for social enterprising and available theoretical and empirical research in the field. This study makes a contribution by outlining a conceptual framework for social entrepreneuring based on a practice-theory approach. Adopting an interactive in-depth inquiry into the everyday operations of two social enterprises that are interconnected in an emerging franchise structure, we disclose structural and processual practices constituting social entrepreneuring. Using a weaving metaphor the proposed three structural practices, presented as dualities, appear as the ‘warp’ while the six processual practices that are identified make the ‘weft’. Major findings include the observation that entrepreneurial commitment and proposed practices dominate the formal franchisor–franchisee relation and that the potential for social capital mobilization does not reduce the need for financial capital.

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R. Isil Yavuz, Harry Sapienza and Youngeun Chu

This study examines the effect of resource flexibility on the early internationalization and performance of international new ventures. We test our hypotheses using data from the Kauffman Firm Survey on 2424 newly founded new ventures in the USA. After controlling for the amount of total resources, we show that new ventures with more flexible resource configurations tend to internationalize earlier. In addition, we also find that resource flexibility helps international new ventures to perform better in terms of both international sales intensity and short-term revenue growth. However, we find no significant effect of flexible resource on the short-term survival of international new ventures.

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Krister Salamonsen

This study draws on the concepts of geographical, organizational and technological proximity to study the perspective of small firms in five asymmetrically sized strategic alliances. A case study design is applied, and interview data from the Norwegian oil and gas industry form the basis for a cross-case analysis. Findings illustrate that organizational and technological proximity mitigates small firms’ liabilities of smallness, whereas geographical proximity has a mitigating effect only when a small firm lacks the knowledge and experience necessary to interact effectively with its large partner. The study contributes to opening the black box about how small firms can survive and prosper in large-partner strategic alliances.

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Päivi Karhunen and Irina Olimpieva

This chapter examines how the national science system as an institutional context influences role identity modification of science-based entrepreneurs. This is done by analysing biographical interviews with science-based entrepreneurs in two very different contexts: Finland and Russia. The results suggest, first, that the increasing entrepreneurial orientation of the academic world has resulted in the emergence of a new identity, that of the ‘scientrepreneur’. The strategies employed to manage this new role identity aim to bridge its scientific and entrepreneurial dimensions rather than to reconcile the discrepancies between two separate identities. Second, we propose that the speed and character of this evolution might be influenced by the institutional context. In Russia, the transition from socialism to a market economy and the subsequent institutional crises in Russian science forced scientists to become entrepreneurs, which created a temporary tension between the scientific and entrepreneurial aspects of the hybrid role identity.

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Elina Varamäki, Sanna Joensuu-Salo and Anmari Viljamaa

This study offers a longitudinal follow-up for entrepreneurial intentions and intention–behaviour link of higher education students. The specific objectives are: (1) to analyse the link between entrepreneurial intentions, their antecedents and entrepreneurial behaviour (i.e., start-up behaviour) after graduation and (2) to analyse the role of gender and entrepreneurial role models in entrepreneurial behaviour. The data for this study was collected in fall 2013 from the alumni of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Finland. The measurement of entrepreneurial intentions during studies was tracked for 282 respondents. Results show that entrepreneurial intentions decrease during studies and after graduation. Entrepreneurial intentions do explain entrepreneurial behaviour after graduation, but the role of perceived behavioural control is more important than that of intentions. Gender has significant value in predicting entrepreneurial career choice. The results highlight the importance of individual perspective in entrepreneurship education: different methods and objectives should be designed for different groups

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Sam Horner and Benito Giordano

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.