Building entrepreneurial knowledge reservoirs

Lars Øystein Widding (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Bodø Graduate School of Business, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This paper seeks to add to our understanding of how entrepreneurs can build “knowledge reservoirs” to achieve competitive advantage. The study focus upon the following issues: what kind of actors can be found in various entrepreneurs' knowledge reservoirs, and what business knowledge do these actors possess.


The author employs a longitudinal case study approach, involving a sample of seven entrepreneurs in new technology‐based firms, each interviewed two times during the period from 1999 to 2001.


Evidence suggests that entrepreneurs should build knowledge reservoirs, segmented into internal, semi‐internal and external knowledge reservoirs. These reservoirs should be a means to gain competition advantage.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual model has both empirical and theoretical backing, but the empirical backing is limited to seven cases. It would be useful to test the conceptual model on larger sample sizes.

Practical implications

Practitioners can focus on how to build knowledge reservoirs, while the model helps to increase awareness of the holistic view of entrepreneurial knowledge and which actors can contribute to it. Policy makers should encourage entrepreneurs to build knowledge reservoirs, and support systems could require a plan for this activity before entrepreneurs get access to public funds.


The paper makes four main contributions: model generation, development of terminology, further development of the field of entrepreneurial research, and development of RBT.



Øystein Widding, L. (2005), "Building entrepreneurial knowledge reservoirs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 595-612.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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