Work Package 4

The Agents of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Talent Building in Perspective

Entrepreneurship research has traditionally stressed the “heroic” role of the individual initiative and the value of incentive structures that reward individual merit (Shane & Venkataram, 2000; Boutillier & Uzunidis, 2014). Much recent scholarship, however, has shown that business environments have always depended heavily on social networks and modes of cooperation, putting the emphasis on collective entrepreneurship rather than on individual decisions (Ács & Audretsch, 2010; Bögenhold et al., 2016; Jones & Wadhwani, 2007; Fruin, 2008; Stamm et al., 2019). This collective entrepreneurship, which has taken different forms across time and cultures, ranges from entrepreneurial teams that collectively found and manage an organization to networked entrepreneurship embedded in industrial clusters and in ties based on trust, friendship or family norms and values (Stamm et al., 2019; Johannisson & Dalhstrand, 2013; Pérez & Rose, 2009; Ruef 2010).

This work package seeks to develop a context-sensitive perspective of collective entrepreneurship by the identification of the agents (individual and collective, formal and informal, and public and private) of entrepreneurial management, how they do interact among them and with the institutional setting, and the effects of those interactions in terms of innovation and talent building. The research is approached from a comparative and long-term perspective. Emerging markets’ experience is compared with collective entrepreneurship in advanced economies. The long-term perspective is inspired by Schumpeter’s classical plea for historical reasoning in entrepreneurship research (Schumpeter, 1947, Wadhwani & Jones, 2014), but justified by the path-dependence character of organizations’ entrepreneurial behaviour and the number of interdependent variables involved in the entrepreneurial action (Nelson & Winter, 1982; Baumol, 2010; Landström & Lohrke 2010; Landes et al., 2010; Jones & Khanna 2006; Bucheli & Wadhawani, 2014).

This work package contributes to scholarship on entrepreneurial management in emerging markets: 1) assessing the role in innovation and talent building of collective entrepreneurship, that is, entrepreneurship based on individuals, teams and networks collaborating formally or informally in innovative actions; 2) contextualizing such innovative actions, as we look at the external (cultural, economic and institutional) factors affecting these innovative actions; 3) identifying the key agents in innovation and talent building, comparing emerging markets with scholarship’s results for advanced nations; and 4) evaluating the path-dependence character of entrepreneurial management and how this shapes the results achieved. From a methodological point of view, the research will also contribute to incorporate further historical research in organization studies.

There will be secondments implemented by CUNEF, UB and UP related to the scientific activities of the WP tasks with the other participating partners contributing to this through their expert knowledge on collective entrepreneurship and outreach to relevant business cases.