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  • Series: Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship series x
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Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn and Silke Tegtmeier

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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Marie Pospíšilová

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.

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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.

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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.

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Tanja Lepistö, Satu Aaltonen and Ulla Hytti

This chapter focuses on co-creation between partners in a micro-firm context. It adopts a strategy-as-practice view in analysing how strategy is constructed in a dialogue between independent consultants in a partnership. The analysis identified five practices of dialoguing: (1) about the customer, (2) of who we are and what we do, (3) of varied experience and knowledge in customer co-operation, (4) of the required steps regarding the future, and (5) of the need for a customer perspective. Integration of varied expertise, expectations and interests flow from active dialogue and compromises made by the actors in strategic planning. The findings also indicate tco-strategizing in micro firms is an iterative and ongoing process that needs time and space to develop in the midst of business as usual. The practical importance of this analysis lies in providing insights for firms in relation to why and how co-strategizing can prove beneficial.

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Heikki Rannikko, Erno Tornikoski, Anders Isaksson, Hans Löfsten and Hanna Rydehell

This chapter investigates the survival and growth trends in a cohort of new technology-based firms (NTBFs) established in Sweden in 2006. We make several contributions to the current understanding of NTBF survival and growth. First, our empirical observations show that many firms (70 per cent) from the 2006 cohort of NTBFs were still operating at the end of 2014, a much higher survival rate than found in previous studies. Second, very few firms experience high growth during their first seven years, and employment growth and sales growth are highly correlated among high-growth firms. Third, challenges of measuring growth in new and very small firms using the ‘kink-point’ approach are addressed.