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Www.jibs.se © Jönköping International Business School Reflections on entrepreneurship in different contexts Friederike Welter Keynote VI INTERNATIONAL.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.jibs.se © Jönköping International Business School Reflections on entrepreneurship in different contexts Friederike Welter Keynote VI INTERNATIONAL."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Jönköping International Business School Reflections on entrepreneurship in different contexts Friederike Welter Keynote VI INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP OF RESEARCH BASED ON GEM: INTERCULTURALITY, DIVERSITY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 28 March 2011

2 © Jönköping International Business School Key Issues Why consider entrepreneurship in different contexts? Exploring the multiplicity of contexts How to contextualise entrepreneurship (research)

3 © Jönköping International Business School Why consider entrepreneurship in different contexts? Observers have a tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors when making judgements about the behaviour of other individuals. (Gartner, 1995: 70) (...) entrepreneurship takes place in multiple sites and spaces (many more than the ones currently considered). (Steyaert & Katz, 2004: 180) Contextualising our research means the effective linking of theory and research objectives and sites (…). (Zahra, 2007: 445)

4 © Jönköping International Business School Key Issues Why consider entrepreneurship in different contexts? Exploring the multiplicity of contexts How to contextualise entrepreneurship (research)

5 © Jönköping International Business School Which contexts? Physical Economical Social Cultural Historical Time … Context as a lens Figure from Brush, de Bruin, Welter, Converting Conventional Wisdom: Insights from Entrepreneurship. Unpublished manuscript. Also cf. Hitt et al. (2007) Context as variable

6 © Jönköping International Business School The social context: Towards household and family embeddedness traditional context perspective: Networks and network ties as resource for overcoming liabilities of newness and smallness family embeddedness perspective (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003) household embeddedness –multiple economy phenomenon of transition period (Pavlovskaya, 2004) –portfolio entrepreneurship and pluriactivity of farm businesses (cf. Carter & Ram, 2004; Carter, 1998; Carter, Tagg & Dimitratos, 2004) –household-enterprise systems (Hansch & Piorkowsky, 1997; Piorkowsky, 2002; Tschajanow, 1923)

7 © Jönköping International Business School Enterprising families in a cross-border context 65 year old woman, living in Belarus travels to Lithuania to officially visit relatives, takes along medicines (semi-legal) and brings back second-hand shoes and clothes Social and family embeddedness of activities: –Daughter: works in chemicals firm in Belarus and provides access to medicines –Sister, married in Lithuania: sells medicine to pensioners –Niece and her girlfriend in Lithuania: help respondent to buy second-hand clothes and shoes

8 © Jönköping International Business School The institutional context Well-researched area: regulatory impact of institutional context Fewer studies on culture / informal institutions Some research has (tried to) studied informal institutions in connection to transformation from Soviet to market economy Recent emphasis on entrepreneurship as societal phenomenon and as everyday activity (Rehn & Taalas, 2004)

9 © Jönköping International Business School How social and institutional contexts influence opportunity recognition and exploitation Opportunities created and recognised in / through social contacts (de Koning, 2003; Jack & Anderson, 2002) Opportunities socially constructed and enacted (Fletcher, 2006; Gartner, Carter & Hill, 2003) Immigrant entrepreneurs: Opportunity recognition influenced by country of origin (van Gelderen, 2007) Emerging market economies: Institutional holes temporarily create opportunities based on Soviet legacies (Smallbone et al., 2010)

10 © Jönköping International Business School Institutional holes as entrepreneurial opportunities In Ukraine, in 1990s, rapid and frequent changes in laws and overly excessive business regulations created demand for consultants innovative business service provider exploited institutional settings, offering full service packages which included the necessary connections to officials. History as context: legacy of Soviet economy of favours Time: transient opportunities which will vanish when the institutional context improves over time.

11 © Jönköping International Business School Linking social, institutional and spatial contexts Entrepreneurship as socio-economic and spatial phenomenon (Johannisson et al., 2002) and as collective event Entrepreneurship as leverage for social change through community and neighbourhood activities (e.g., Dupuis & de Bruin, 2003; Frederking, 2004) Contradictory effects of institutional and spatial contexts –Spatial proximity fosters social networks and can lead to over- embeddedness –Culture-based rules of a place can foster breaking out of norms

12 © Jönköping International Business School Contexts as liability and asset Young woman in rural Uzbekistan (Chartak): took up gold embroidery and sewing after fathers death to provide family income Institutional and socio-spatial contexts determine low-growth and low-income nature of her activities

13 © Jönköping International Business School Breaking out of norms – Coping with norms: Female entrepreneurs in a post Soviet context Entrepreneurship as means to gain (economic) independence, with high impact on societal change behavioural patterns of defying post Soviet gender norms, but coping with the post Soviet entrepreneurship norm: –becoming more male:I sometimes forget that I am a woman. –acting as outsider: If some people do not like female entrepreneurs, let them. We do not care. But female entrepreneurs do exist and you have to take account of the fact. –using femininity:The tax inspector saw me as a weak woman and felt pity for me. He did not ask for bribes and sometimes even confined himself to minimal fines for my mistakes.

14 © Jönköping International Business School Key Issues Why consider entrepreneurship in different contexts? Exploring the multiplicity of contexts How to contextualise entrepreneurship (research)

15 © Jönköping International Business School Current shortcomings in contextualising entrepreneurship Dominance of business context or restricted understanding of social context Most studies assume a one-way relationship. Most research still is not sufficiently multi-level oriented. Few studies try to bridge between different levels, probably because of methodological and theoretical challenges.

16 © Jönköping International Business School Challenges for entrepreneurship theory: How to improve the theory lens? Contextualising theory means acknowledging situational and temporal boundaries –Challenge: how to overcome barriers in the research field preventing contextualisation? (for management field in general: Johns, 2006; Bamberger, 2008) Theorizing entrepreneurship contexts is about identifying theories-in-context (Whetten, 2009). –Challenge: which theory / theories acknowledge bottom-up and top-down effects? But: Do we aim for customized theory (theory by context), or more generalised theory which would be applicable across contexts (Rousseau & Fried, 2001 ) ?

17 © Jönköping International Business School Challenges for empirical research The true measure of entrepreneurship in a society as a whole needs to sample across multiple sectors, domains and spaces. (Steyaert & Katz 2004: 193) Queries unit of analysis Method mix to capture richness and diversity of contexts Being sensitive to time – longitudinal research

18 © Jönköping International Business School Challenges in contextualising entrepreneurship research Entrepreneurship research takes place in specific contexts and communities. We bring our own (cultural) context to the research site. Contextualising entrepreneurship research is about listening to each other

19 © Jönköping International Business School Thank you for your attention – and I am looking forward to your questions and comments!


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