Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy

Dessy Irawati (Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




Irawati, D. (2008), "Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 263-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552550810887435



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

In general, this book provides a mixture of perspectives for explaining entrepreneurship and its policy implications. With contributors from a wide area of entrepreneurship policy, the authors provide a story and evidence of different case studies and analysis of entrepreneurship activity and policy from European and North American viewpoints.

This book has two cornerstones. Firstly, the emergence of entrepreneurship as an authentic focus of public policy with regard to economic growth and employment creation both in developed and developing countries. Accordingly, many cities, regions, states, and entire countries have turned to entrepreneurship to generate economic development gradually. However, this book also highlights the pitfalls of using entrepreneurship policy as a learning lesson, with regard to the complexity of various natures and actors. At the same time, from a management perspective, entrepreneurship has not been considered as a way of understanding the broader economic context as well as the individual starting up.

Accordingly, this book has tried to understand the crucial questions about entrepreneurship policy studies as follows:

  • What is entrepreneurship policy?

  • What is the economic rationale for not undertaking entrepreneurship policy?

  • Why has entrepreneurship policy become so important?

  • What are the main instruments of entrepreneurship policy?

  • Who implements entrepreneurship policy?

  • What is the impact of entrepreneurship policy and how should it be assessed?

With its detailed framework for entrepreneurship policy, this book provides policy framework from interdisciplinary topics spanning a broad range of fields, including management, psychology, geography, political science, sociology, and innovation studies. The interdisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship research reflects a phenomenon that crosses the boundaries of multiple units of observation and analysis namely individual, groups, enterprises, cultures, geographic locations, industries, countries, and historical time.

In chapter 2, Auerswald discusses the death of “the valley” between innovative entrepreneurs and potential market exploitation. Auerswald explains that there is a gap between R&D and marketing activities but that they need to cooperate with each other in entrepreneurial activity. Technologists and investors have recognised this ‘innovation gap’, which is clearly explained in this chapter. This chapter then leads on to the role of policy as a bridging mechanism. Moreover, the author proposes a shift from using the criteria of market failure to justify policy action to more pragmatic criterion, mainly based on US experience.

In chapter 3, Audrestch and Beckman explain the shift in policy focus to be more holistic as a mechanism for generating economic growth and employment. The authors take the example of US case study and German entrepreneurial policy as examples. They note that, in the US, the Bayh‐Dole Act of 1980 has supported the role of universities in knowledge spillover for commercialisation. On the other hand, Germany has a strong support infrastructure for SMEs, which focuses on financial assistance and the provision of start‐up business for entrepreneurs. Additionally, this chapter also discusses the transition of small business phenomenon post World War II era into macro economic policy. In the past, SMEs and starts‐up were once perceived as inefficient entities that had to be preserved for social and political reasons. Now, they argue, there is strong interest by policy makers to promote entrepreneurship in order to stimulate economic growth. Along with an explanation of SMEs in the Solow economy, this chapter explores the development of entrepreneurship policy strategies.

In chapter 4, the author tries to give a different perspective on how governance can impede the diffusion of entrepreneurial policy. Parker describes that there are two problems with policies that target entrepreneurial groups. Based on these two concerns, he then discusses the details of each problem by giving examples of policy in the US and the UK. Accordingly, in this chapter, the author highlights how dangerous policy makers could be if they implement the wrong “recipe” in their entrepreneurial policies. Parker discusses the theoretical and empirical grounds for policy makers to restrain their urge to intervene in support of small and new enterprises.

The next chapters 5 and 6 contain some relevant case studies for policy makers. In chapter 5, Henrekson and Roine emphasize the place of entrepreneurship in a mature welfare system such as Sweden. The authors explain in details how the Swedish welfare system tries to integrate entrepreneurship by defining entrepreneurship and its link to economic growth. Moreover, the exploration of welfare policy and incentives for entrepreneurship are discussed in detail. In short, this chapter provides an understanding of entrepreneurship policy in a mature welfare state. Chapter 6 provides stimulating and rich discussion about the entrepreneurship study from various views. Stevenson and Lundstrőm begin by writing about evolution of entrepreneurship policy and continue with a definition of entrepreneurship from a multi‐dimensional concept. Moreover, they discuss the fact that entrepreneurship has various meanings and interpretations. This chapter provides fruitful discussion for entrepreneurship study: the scope of entrepreneurship, the economic and social impact of entrepreneurship, the role of entrepreneurship in economic growth, the determinants of entrepreneurship, and policy measures for entrepreneurship. Each of these is supported by data from various countries; Europe, the United States and Asia‐Australia, in order to compare and contrast entrepreneurship activity and policy in each country. Interestingly, as an additional discussion, Stevenson and Lundstrőm also compare and contrast entrepreneurship policy versus SMEs policy.

Chapter 7 includes discussion on the relationships between public‐private partnerships (PPPs) and entrepreneurship, mainly based on US examples. Here Link shows the advantages and disadvantages of four components of PPPs, notably: tax incentives; collaborative research arrangements; technology infrastructures; and direct support of innovation activity. In chapter 8, Hoffman discusses the importance aspect for entrepreneurship policy. Here, the author explains the entry and creation of high‐growth firms from cross‐country data. At the end of this chapter, Hoffman provides a brief case study for entrepreneurship policy based on the German experience. In chapter 9, Wessner writes about examples of the US government initiative that link to PPPs to stimulate SMEs. He uses experience of the US government by examining Small Business Innovation Research Program (ISBR) and Advanced Technology Program (ATP) as the next stage. This chapter provides fruitful discussion on how these programs have helped starts‐ups to foster their businesses.

With regard to methodology, In this chapter Siegel provides a rich review of literature on university‐technology transfer studies using both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Using experience from universities in the US, this chapter explains the background of TTOs (Technology Transfer Offices) since 1980s in response to the Bayh‐Dole Act. Furthermore a clear review of empirical studies on the effectiveness of university technology licensing is given in this chapter. Additionally, Siegel reviews studies of start‐ups at universities whereby the emphasis of entrepreneurial dimension of technology transfer has also played an important role. In conclusion, the author argues that it is crucial for university administrators to think strategically about technology transfer with regard to the potential for pitfalls and successes that have previously been identified in research. Another concern is the lack of marketing skills and entrepreneurial experience in the TTOs, which should be addressed by academics and the university administrator in order to train and mentor potential academic entrepreneurs.

Chapter 11 is an interesting chapter about the development of entrepreneurship in Bavaria. Here, Marcel Hülsbeck and Erik E. Lehman provide well structured description of Bavarian entrepreneurial policy. Additionally, Bavaria is described by the authors as a land of contrasts, where the traditional agrarian state renowned for its tourist attraction has now been complemented by different industries in the post‐war era. This chapter provides an analysis of the challenges faced and overcome during the transformation of Bavaria's entrepreneurship policy.

Finally, chapter 12 provides a case study to evaluate the enterprise programme amongst youth by using Shell Livewire programme. According to the author, the Shell Livewire evaluation faces a major issue: the opaque nature of targets and difficulty of translating these into identifiable measures. This chapter discuss in detail the difficulties in evaluating the Shell Livewire enterprise programme and is interesting since the chapter includes a review of literature on evaluating enterprise programmes in general.

In conclusion, this book is a well written and handy source for readers. Additionally, this book provides an overview of current issues relevant to the development of entrepreneurial policy, which are based on interesting case studies across a number of nations, although these are mainly in Europe and the USA. Furthermore, most of the chapters within this book discuss current trends, problems, and difficulties of doing entrepreneurship research. Complementary with that, this book also provide some sound policy recommendation and suggestions for further research on how to make entrepreneurship policy more applicable and sensitive to context.

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