AoM PDW: Entrepreneurial Opportunity: Oxygen or Phlogiston?

I’m really sorry I’ll be missing this. There should be more events like this one, where long-standing foundational concepts are provocatively (in a good sense) challenged:

Title: Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Oxygen or Phlogiston of Entrepreneurship Research? (session #365)

Date & Time: Saturday, August 08, 2015, 12:30:00 PM – 3:00:00 PM

Hotel & Room: Vancouver Convention Centre, Room 012

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Entrepreneurial Opportunity: the Oxygen or Phlogiston of Entrepreneurship Research?


Reference to and debate about the notion of entrepreneurial opportunity has grown rapidly in entrepreneurship research in the last 10-15 years (Davidsson, 2015). The central role it has achieved is underlined by the fact that the concept is included in the new domain statement of the Entrepreneurship Division of AoM.

While spurring new research directions, “opportunity” is also an elusive notion. There is no agreement on the essential nature of entrepreneurial opportunities, and even those who subscribe to distinct “paradigms” or “theories” of entrepreneurial opportunities struggle with internal consistency regarding whether such entities fundamentally are individual cognitions, social constructions, or sets of objective, external conditions. Capturing “opportunities” in empirical research is also a major challenge. As a result, many central questions concerning entrepreneurial opportunities remain unanswered. So, should “entrepreneurial opportunity” remain a central building block in entrepreneurship research? Is it the oxygen that can give life and vigor to future entrepreneurship research? Or has it now become more like phlogiston; a once helpful idea that has become dated and instead threatens to stifle further progress? Are there better ways to conceptualize and empirically capture the underlying phenomena?

Continued here:

CfP for entrepreneurship and innovation tracks at IFKAD 2015

There are a number of entrepreneurship and innovation related tracks (and one on economic and financial networks) at the forthcoming 10th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD) 2015, to be held in Bari, Italy, 10-12 June 2015, including:

  1. Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: challenges in the creative industries 
    see more information » 
  2. Project and Knowledge Management, a shared approach, to improve the enterprise innovation 
    see more information »
  3. Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in tertiary higher education: connecting the knowledge dots 
    see more information » 
  4. Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a gendered perspective 
    see more information » 
  5. Innovation networks, clusters and ecosystems: managing the dynamics of intangible assets in open innovation contexts 
    see more information » 
  6. Managing Knowledge for Innovation: the role of Culture and Cultural Diversities 
    see more information » 
  7. Why bother about culture in SMEs and micro firms? Innovation, culture and entrepreneurial dynamics in regional development 
    see more information » 
  8. Places and Spaces for Value Creation by Organizations in Cities: The Past as Short-Cut to the Future 
    see more information » 
  9. Is bigger always better? Examining the value and needs of independent freelancers and micro businesses as a key element in the global creative and cultural sector 
    see more information » 
  10. Collective Intelligence Systems for Technology Entrepreneurship 
    see more information » 
  11. Creativity and innovative mindset for entrepreneurship: enabling factors, processes and environment 
    see more information » 
  12. Sustainability as a driver for different forms of innovation 
    see more information » 
  13. Crossing the language and cultural barriers: Innovative approaches to blending academic and entrepreneurial knowledge 
    see more information » 
  14. Innovation and cultural entrepreneurship – the core of a knowledge society 
    see more information » 
  15. Innovation Ecosystems: concepts, models, and knowledge practices 
    see more information »
  16. Innovations in corporate disclosure 
    see more information » 
  17. Sustainability entrepreneurship – the role of culture in searching for innovation opportunities 
    see more information »
  18. Exploring the Drivers of Complexity in Economic and Financial Networks: Models and Empirics 
    see more information » 
  19. Knowledge, Cooperation and Innovation in the Wine Sector 
    see more information » 
  20. Business Models Innovation in Creative and Cultural Organizations 
    see more information »

CfP: Workshop on Social Capital and Entrepreneurship

Social Capital and Entrepreneurship Workshop at CSCW 2013

At the 16th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
February 23-27 in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

There is a strong relationship between social capital and entrepreneurship. Yet we know little of how groups across cultures and socio-technical configurations interact and collaborate online to transform innovation into commercial and social ventures.

This one day workshop will explore, through different perspectives, the challenges for CSCW in supporting the development of social capital for entrepreneurship, highlighting the gaps and opportunities for designers.

A key part of the agenda for this workshop is to form understandings of the formation of social capital and entrepreneurship activities in contrasting cultures and socio-technical configurations.

We hope to foster dialogue between academics in different disciplines interested in interdisciplinary research in social capital, entrepreneurship and CSCW.

‘Anyone can be an entrepreneur’

In a BBC article today, Richard Reed, one of the founders of Innocent Drinks, is quoted on what it takes to become an entrepreneur (How to become your own boss):

Anyone, says Reed, could go home today, and for instance, make some jam and start selling it.

Earlier in the article,

“If you have ever organised a wedding or a holiday for a group of friends you have got what it takes to set up a business”,  says Reed, who founded his company in 1998 with two friends from Cambridge University.

But later on he reveals

At the age of four my mum found me trying to sell jam jars with rose petals in as perfume for 2p to my neighbours. Aged seven I was going round cleaning their windows. At age 11, I was buying Smurf stickers and reselling them in schools.

This revelation somewhat undermines his argument that anyone can become an entrepreneur, as clearly he wasn’t just anyone then. Most kids don’t go around selling stuff at the age of four and then end up at Cambridge. On the basis of this biographical evidence one would be more likely to conclude that entrepreneurial capability is either innate (Richard had it at the age of 4 already) or that it is the result of one’s environment in childhood, such as specific socio-economic circumstances, existing socio-technical networks or specific incidents that shaped the child’s psyche and social skills.

Seeing this then makes me wonder, what compels a BBC journalist to write such an article about entrepreneurship? What’s the motivation here? As I take a closer look I realise that the article is meant to promote a new BBC series, Be Your Own Boss, which seems like a reality show in the footsteps of the Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice. As part of the drive to promote the show and its stars and makers,  it obviously makes sense to put out statements like “anyone can be an entrepreneur,” as they are trying to attract the widest possible audience. Now the question is whether the show itself will be able to prove that proposition.

Research Fellow – Entrepreneurship, Bournemouth University

Research Fellow – Entrepreneurship

Bournemouth University

Ref: TBS143

Starting salary from £26,779 – £31,020 per annum with further progression opportunities to £33,884

The Centre for Entrepreneurship is a new initiative within the Executive Business Centre that offers support to early stage and established businesses in the digital media sector.  We are a growing Business School with a commitment to research, professional practice and teaching that aims to enhance our reputation as a practice based business school that makes a significant contribution to the regional economy with centres of international excellence.

The successful candidate will have a PhD and proven academic credibility, with a successful record of high quality teaching and research. You will have a good research profile, with evidence of publication in quality journals. This is a key supporting role to the Director and the development of the Centre.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Professor Dean Patton on 01202 68747

A detailed job description and person specification are available from our website together with an online application form.  Alternatively, please telephone 01202 961130 (24 hour answerphone) quoting the appropriate reference. 

Closing date:  Sunday 19 August 2012

Senior Lecturer/Lecturer post in Entrepreneurship at Bournemouth University

Some lecturer/senior lecturer opportunities in the Business School at Bournemouth University:

Senior Lecturer/Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

Senior Lecturer in Strategy

Senior Lecturer/Lecturer in Marketing

Closing date: 25 April 2012.

CfP: Creating Opportunities through Innovation

The deadline for ISBE 2012 Conference Abstract submission has been extended to Monday April 23rd.

Creating Opportunities through Innovation: Local Energy, Global Vision

DUBLIN, Ireland. 7th-8th November 2012

Call for papers

We invite you to submit an abstract and share your research, thinking and findings. We welcome Academic Research Papers (either refereed or working), Practitioner Papers and Case Studies for presentation at the conference in the following tracks:

·         Business Creation, Resource Acquisition & Business Closure

·         Business Support Policy and Practice

·         Creative Industries Entrepreneurship

·         Critical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship

·         Entrepreneurial Learning in Organisations

·         Enterprise Education

·         Entrepreneurship in Minority Groups

·         Family Business

·         Finance, Venture Capital, Taxation & Regulation

·         Gender and Enterprise

·         ICT, IT and E-Business in the Small Firm Sector

·         International Entrepreneurship

·         Networks, Innovation and Resource Acquisition

·         Rural Enterprise

·         Science and Technology

·         Social, Environmental and Ethical Enterprise

Neil Fligstein on sociology of entrepreneurship

From an interesting interview with Neil Fligstein (in The Browser), which he ends by reflecting on the future of economic sociology (though he is a bit harsh on economics :)

There’s a lot of interest in entrepreneurship, how new markets come into existence and their resemblance to social movements. Economics has almost nothing important to say about entrepreneurship and a lot of what’s being said about entrepreneurship comes from sociology.

Business schools are increasingly interested in applied economic sociology. Entrepreneurial studies are based on economic sociology. Courses on marketing and branding are infused with economic sociology. The main way in which economic sociology finds its way into the mainstream is through business studies and network analysis. And as for the dismal science of economics, I think reality undermines it every day without this assistance of sociologists.

Make sure to check out the rest of the interview as well, in which Fligstein discusses five of his most favourite economic sociology books (by Zelizer, Granovetter, Dobbin, Bourdieu and MacKenzie).

Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein’s new book is now available: Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm. Here is the book’s rationale. Best price so far at The Book Depository (paperback).

Entrepreneurship, long neglected by economists and management scholars, has made a dramatic comeback in the last two decades, not only among academic economists and management scholars, but also among policymakers, educators and practitioners. Likewise, the economic theory of the firm, building on Ronald Coase’s (1937) seminal analysis, has become an increasingly important field in economics and management. Despite this resurgence, there is still little connection between the entrepreneurship literature and the literature on the firm, both in academia and in management practice. This book fills this gap by proposing and developing an entrepreneurial theory of the firm that focuses on the connections between entrepreneurship and management. Drawing on insights from Austrian economics, it describes entrepreneurship as judgmental decision made under uncertainty, showing how judgment is the driving force of the market economy and the key to understanding firm performance and organization.

CfP: Special issue on networks and entrepreneurship

International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal

Call for papers:

Special Issue on “The Role of Networks in Entrepreneurial Performance”

Papers may be of any type – empirical studies, conceptual papers, reviews, or research and teaching notes

Deadline for final submissions is Saturday, 1st Sept 2012. Papers will be published in 2013.

Networks have long been recognized as being important for SMEs, whether as sources of new product development (Lipparini & Sobrero, 1994) or as a means of accessing customers and distribution channels (Lee, Park, Yoon, & Park, 2010) for new products and services. Jack, Drakopoulou, Dodd & Anderson (2008) argue that networks are essential to the entrepreneurial process in that they ‘provide a framework for processes aiming at organizing resources according to opportunities’. Yet we still know little about how entrepreneurial firms discriminate between and use networks, and which aspects of a chosen network lead to superior (or alternatively poorer) performance.  SMEs and micro-sized firms cannot, normally, access all the resources they need in-house and because of their small size they often have to source these externally. These resources include both physical goods and intangible resources such as knowledge. There are skills and capabilities involved in both learning about these resources and obtaining them at an advantage, for example gaining privileged access to low prices or favourable distribution channels, or to knowledge that others cannot obtain (Ruzzier, Hisrich, & Antoncic, 2006).

We know that social capital is an important factor in the building and maintaining of helpful business relationships in some parts of the world (for example, guanxi in China, Wasta in Arab countries, or the network of businesses that supply Benetton in Italy or Inditex in Spain) (Li and Liu, 2010). Yet as Anderson & Jack (2002) suggest, “the nature, role and application of social capital in an entrepreneurial context have not been extensively explored”. Are these networks a source of growth for firms within them, or blockages to innovation? How do foreign entrepreneurs access such networks? Tightly-knit relationships can constrain innovation by restricting access to new knowledge but at the same time can enable it through constructing an efficient channel for new ideas to be processed. An important question is whether there are specific sectors in which the benefits of strong relationships outweigh any disadvantages; and vice versa. Furthermore, what are the etiquettes (Anderson & Jack, 2002) of social capital formation, particularly in global industries?

Successful network participants are likely to have specific attributes that enable them to form trusting (affective or cognitive) relationships (see, for example, Tong, 2006). These attributes are likely to differ around the world. They are also likely to vary according to the motives for forming a relationship, whether it is a risky relationship in which the outcomes are uncertain, as in the development of radical new products, or a joint venture where the alliances are unbalanced in terms of the bases of power held by the partners, or a relationship where the outcomes are more predictable (Smith and Lohrke, 2008). We also still know little about how entrepreneurial partners engage with networks whose participants have very different characteristics to their own.

There are other rather surprising gaps in knowledge. For example, little attention has been paid to the network development and networking activities of female and ethnic entrepreneurs, and even less to whether they participate in certain sectors, and to what effect, for example in agri-businesses or technology-based SMEs. Typically female entrepreneurs have different approaches to network participation compared with males (Baker, Aldrich, & Nina, 1997). We speculate that the role of females are likely to be different in different industries, and different geographical locations, and perhaps also in different roles (Klyver, 2011). This is important because recent research (for example, Hampton, Coope and McGowan, 2009) suggests that women are a significant yet untapped source of entrepreneurial potential. A better understanding of issues surrounding the activities of female entrepreneurs would also help identify ways in which others might be encouraged to engage in new venturing. Other personal attributes likely to be relevant in the forming of network relationships and which are currently not well understood, include class (Anderson and Miller, 2003), and educational level (Ibarra, 1993).

From this brief overview of the literature we can identify a number of potentially fruitful questions for investigation, including (but not limited to):

·         The role of absorptive capacity in SMEs’ ability to access and utilise externally-held resources

·         Global entrepreneurship in the smart digital age

·         Networks and family businesses

·         Capabilities, competences and tools that might be needed for small firms to use networks effectively

·         The role of social capital in entrepreneurial success

·          The process and effect/s of SMEs’ networks in the new product development process

·         The influence of network participation in design outcomes

·         Attributes of effective boundary-spanners

·         The extent to which government agencies may create effective entrepreneurial networks

·          Collaborative work and the role of networks in co-creation

·         Networking as opportunity brokering

Indicative references

Anderson, A., & Jack, S. (2002). The articulation of social capital in entrepreneurial networks: A glue or a lubricant? Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 14(3), 193-21

Anderson, A., & Miller, C. (2003). Class matters: Human and social capital in the entrepreneurial process. Journal of Socio-Economics, 32(1), 17-36.

Baker, T., Aldrich, H., & Nina, I. (1997). Invisible entrepreneurs: The neglect of women business owners by mass media and scholarly journals in the USA. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 9(3), 221-238.

Bradley S., Wiklund, J., & Shepherd D.  (2011). Swinging a double-edged sword: The effect of slack on entrepreneurial management and growth. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(5), 537-554

Smith, D., & Lohrke, F. (2008). Entrepreneurial network development: Trusting in the process, Journal of Business Research, 61(4), 315-322.

Hampton, A., Coope, S., & McGowan, P. (2009). Female entrepreneurial networks and networking activity in technology-based ventures: An exploratory study. International Small Business Journal, 27(2), 193-214.

Ibarra, H. (1993). Personal networks of women and minorities in management: A conceptual framework. The Academy of Management Review, 18(1), 56-87.

Klyver, K. (2011). Gender differences in entrepreneurial networks: Adding an alter perspective, Gender in Management: An International Journal, 26(5), 332-350.

Lee, S-J., Park, G-M., Yoon, B-Y., & Park, J-W. (2010). Open innovation in SMEs- An intermediated network model. Research Policy, 39(2), 290-300.

Lipparini, A., & Sobrero, M. (1994). The glue and the pieces: Entrepreneurship and innovation in small-firm networks, Journal of Business Venturing, 9(2), 125-140.

Jack, S., Drakopoulou, A., Dodd, S., & Anderson, A. (2008). Change and the development of entrepreneurial networks over time: A processual perspective. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 20(2), 125-15.

Ruzzier, M., Hisrich, R., & Antoncic, B. (2006). SME internationalization research: Past, present, and future. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13(4), 476-497.

Tong, C-S. (2006). The opportunity recognition framework of Hong Kong SMEs. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, <;.

Special Issue Editors

Please send papers to any one of the following Co-Editors of this Special Issue:

Professor Jai Beom Kim  (

Dr. Wilson Ng (

Professor Alison Rieple (

Submission and informal enquiries

Please direct informal inquiries to Prof. Alison Rieple

Full papers should be submitted as e-mail attachments, preferably in MS Word, at the latest by 1st September 2012.  Papers should normally be between 5000 and 8000 words in length, excluding references and any Appendices and Figures.

Please ensure that you follow the IEMJ house style outlined at:

NB.  Papers should not be submitted through the Springer online system but sent direct to one of the Special Issue Editors.