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History and geography matter: The cultural dimension of entrepreneurship
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation deals with the rise of new industries through entrepreneurial activities. The aim is to investigate how differences in contexts might encourage or discourage entrepreneurial activities. This contextualization of entrepreneurship enhanced our understanding of when, how and why entrepreneurial activities happen.

Entrepreneurship is recognized to be a spatially uneven process and, in addition to previous research that has examined the actions of individual entrepreneurs, we also need to understand the context in which entrepreneurship occurs. We have a good understanding of how structural conditions like industry structure, organization structure and agglomeration effects influence the context, but we know little about how the social dimension of the context is the transmitting medium between structural conditions for entrepreneurship and the decision to act upon identified entrepreneurial opportunities. Following this line of argument, this dissertation is built on the assumption that entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon which gives strong arguments for including local culture in entrepreneurship research.

The temporal persistence and the pronounced differences of culture and structural conditions between places reflect path-dependent processes. I therefore use regional path dependence as an interpretative lens to study the contextualization of entrepreneurship in two Swedish cities.

Although each context is unique, some generalizations can be drawn from the four individual papers in this dissertation. The first is that industrial legacy leads to the formation of a distinct local culture and that the persistency of this culture influences the subsequent entrepreneurial activities in new local industries. The second is that this persistency of culture suggests that entrepreneurs who are outsiders, geographically or socially, are the driving forces for the emergence of new local industries. Finally, new industry emergence is a result of a combination of exogenous forces and initial local conditions, but it is the entrepreneurial individuals who translate these forces and conditions into entrepreneurial activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2017.
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 4
Keyword [en]
Entrepreneurship, culture, path dependence, region, local, geography
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-14018ISBN: 978-91-7295-337-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-14018DiVA: diva2:1082641
Public defence
2017-04-21, J1650, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-17 Created: 2017-03-17 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The dynamics and evolution of local industries-the case of linköping, sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The dynamics and evolution of local industries-the case of linköping, sweden
2014 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944, Vol. 22, no 5, 929-948 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to analyse how innovative, individual actions influence the evolution of local industries according to three stages. When discussing the evolution of industries or economies, the concept of path dependency is often a central element. Its vague nature makes it however difficult to be used as an interpretative lens when studying the evolution of local industries. In order to limit the broad concept, several aspects have been identified for discussion; all are explicitly linked to path dependency in economic geography literature and all are acknowledged to be of significance for stimulating the evolution of local industries. Based on a review of the evolutionary economic theory literature, the following three stages have been identified: First, the entering of new knowledge which may, or may not, be the starting point for a new local industry; second, the formation of the new local industry; third, the anchoring process of the new local industry. All three stages are intertwined and include the question how the new emerging industry and the existing local structures relate to each other. The three stages will be illustrated through the discussion of the evolution of the IT industry in Linköping, Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge Journals, 2014
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6649 (URN)10.1080/09654313.2012.744383 (DOI)000335841600003 ()oai:bth.se:forskinfo7BED46BB1CC77978C1257B9B004AE12B (Local ID)oai:bth.se:forskinfo7BED46BB1CC77978C1257B9B004AE12B (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo7BED46BB1CC77978C1257B9B004AE12B (OAI)
Available from: 2014-07-17 Created: 2013-07-01 Last updated: 2017-04-04Bibliographically approved
2. New perspectives on innovative entrepreneurship and path dependence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New perspectives on innovative entrepreneurship and path dependence
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, ISSN 1742-5360, E-ISSN 1742-5379, Vol. 6, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper uses path dependence as an interpretive lens to examine the relationship between innovative entrepreneurship and regional development. A literature review of path dependence explains why that concept is relevant for this paper. This paper reaches four conclusions about the relationship. First, in the study of innovative entrepreneurship in a regional context, the technological, social and cognitive dimensions should be taken into consideration. Second, the effect of the different types of innovative entrepreneurship on path dependence depends on specific, regional situations. Third, the dominant regional network forms an institutional foundation that may either hinder or support innovative entrepreneurship. Fourth, innovative entrepreneurs who introduce new knowledge from outside the region are more likely to alter the regional path.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2014
Keyword
Keywordsentrepreneurship, innovative entrepreneurship, path dependence, regional development, network-based approach
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-13261 (URN)10.1504/IJEV.2014.066837 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-10-19 Created: 2016-10-19 Last updated: 2017-04-04Bibliographically approved
3. BREAKING THE COGNITIVE DIMENSION OF LOCAL PATH DEPENDENCE: AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSPECTIVE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>BREAKING THE COGNITIVE DIMENSION OF LOCAL PATH DEPENDENCE: AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSPECTIVE
2016 (English)In: Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, ISSN 0435-3684, Vol. 98, no 3, 239-253 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Few attempts have been made to consider the role of individual activities in path dependence. The purpose of this paper is to analyse how local entrepreneurial activities can lead to a break in the cognitive local path. The theoretical framework rests on the literature on path dependence, but focuses mainly on cognitive frames as carriers of path-dependent behaviour. A qualitative case study has been used to analyse the formation and breaking of a local cognitive path through individual activities. Four main conclusions can be drawn. First, cognitive paradigms explain why the degree of adaptability differs between locations. Second, external shocks are translated to local change through individual activities. Third, acknowledging cognitive barriers to individual behaviour, the important role of outsiders is highlighted for breaking the cognitive path. Fourth, the long durability of cognitive paradigms and the importance of outsiders suggest the emergence of a parallel, alternative cognitive path.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016
Keyword
cognitive path, entrepreneurship, evolutionary economic geography, local development, path dependence
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-13871 (URN)10.1111/geob.12102 (DOI)000392729400005 ()2-s2.0-85009827362 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-02-07 Created: 2017-02-03 Last updated: 2017-04-04Bibliographically approved
4. Local culture as a context for entrepreneurial activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local culture as a context for entrepreneurial activities
2017 (English)In: European Planning Studies, ISSN 0965-4313, E-ISSN 1469-5944Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how an industrial legacy leads to the formation of a distinct local culture and how the culture’s survival provides a context for the subsequent entrepreneurial activities in new local industries. The discussion about culture as a key driver of entrepreneurship and economic growth is well established in the academic debate. However, we know little about how culture is formed. Through a qualitative case study of two polar Swedish cities, the study highlights four key factors which are instrumental in the formation of local culture: initial conditions, characteristics of key players, network activities and composition of newcomers. We show how the local entrepreneurs responded to the underlying assumptions of the two different cultures.

Keyword
Culture; economic development; entrepreneurship; industrial legacy
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-13886 (URN)10.1080/09654313.2017.1306028 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-02-07 Created: 2017-02-07 Last updated: 2017-04-06Bibliographically approved

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