Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Education
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Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Education

Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn and Eddy Laveren

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Education explores the need for researching innovation and learning in family firms, micro firms, SMEs and in rural and network contexts. The chapters offer new insights into the antecedents of business performance in SMEs by investigating social capital and marketing capabilities. This book critically discusses innovation and entrepreneurship matters in new and varied contexts in Europe.
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Chapter 4: Micro firm learning communities in rural tourism: a multi-case study

David Aylward, Leana Reinl and Felicity Kelliher


Research reveals little about how rural micro firms learn as they collaborate for tourism development. Drawing from Lave and Wenger’s (1991) community of practice perspective, this chapter explores the elements related to micro-firm community learning and presents the findings of an interpretivist multi-case study of two evolving learning communities (ELC) engaged in rural tourism development in Wales and Canada. The literature review reveals catalyst, structure, strategy and boundary as elements which impact sustained learning in this setting. Empirical findings demonstrate that learner autonomy is challenging in both cases while the literary identified elements shaped learning relationships differently in each case. An ELC model adapted from prior research (Reinl and Kelliher, 2014) is presented. Progressive brokerage is emphasised as a fundamental competence for sustainable learning in this environment. Calling for a sustainable learning orientation, recommendations are offered to optimise ELC support and avenues for future research are outlined.

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