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Place-based network organizations and embedded entrepreneurial learning: Emerging paths to sustainability

Valter Cantino (Department of Management, Università degli Studi di Torino , Turin, Italy)
Alain Devalle (Department of Management, Università degli Studi di Torino , Turin, Italy)
Damiano Cortese (Department of Management, Università degli Studi di Torino , Turin, Italy)
Francesca Ricciardi (Department of Business Administration, Università degli Studi di Verona , Verona, Italy)
Mariangela Longo (Department of Management, Università degli Studi di Torino , Turin, Italy)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an original six-phase model describing entrepreneurial learning in the transition of place-based enterprises toward a sustainable exploitation of natural common resources (commons).

Design/methodology/approach

The six-phase model proposed by this study explains the learning processes involving place-based enterprises through two important existing theories: adaptive co-management and Lachmann’s evolutionary, embedded theory of entrepreneurship. The proposed model integrates these two theories on the basis of a longitudinal case study on the fishing enterprises in an Italian marine protected area (MPA).

Findings

In the case study, the success factors identified by the adaptive co-management literature proved important in enabling an embedded entrepreneurial learning process consistent with Lachmann’s view. The case analysis allowed the authors to cluster these learning processes around six phases. Further, even if traditional fishing is not knowledge-intensive, this case shows the transition to a sustainable business model required intense efforts of educated institutional work and scientific research. Interestingly, the key learning processes were enabled by the emergence of a larger, networked social entity (a network form of organization) including the community of fishermen, the MPA management and a network of scientists studying the marine area ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications

This study is explorative and relies on a single case study. Despite this limitation, it opens up new research paths in the fields of entrepreneurship, institutional work, network organizations and adaptive management of the commons.

Originality/value

This study is strongly interdisciplinary; it proposes an original model based on a theoretical view that is highly innovative for organization and management studies; and addresses a relevant but overlooked issue with important societal implications.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section Entrepreneurial learning dynamics in knowledge intensive enterprises.

Citation

Cantino, V., Devalle, A., Cortese, D., Ricciardi, F. and Longo, M. (2017), "Place-based network organizations and embedded entrepreneurial learning: Emerging paths to sustainability", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 504-523. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-12-2015-0303

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited