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Entrepreneurship and institutional uncertainty

Fernando Antonio Monteiro Christoph D’Andrea (School of Entrepreneruship, Oklahoma State University System, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Article publication date: 9 August 2022

Issue publication date: 8 March 2023




The study aims to demonstrate how different arrangements and characteristics of institutions can generate or mitigate uncertainty thereby facilitating or hampering the possibilities of entrepreneurial action.


This is a conceptual paper that advances the theoretical understanding of the relationship between entrepreneurial uncertainty and the different institutional levels, their characteristics and their interplay.


Entrepreneurial uncertainty also comes from the institutional environment and this has direct impact on the propensity to take action. The characteristics of the different institutional levels, in specific, their quality, stability, alignment and the burden imposed by L2 impact in the emergence of entrepreneurial uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper that makes a number of theoretical suggestions which need to be further analyzed by empirical work.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that different institutional levels need to be dealt with differently by research studies and institutional agents, including policy makers. Among others, the findings also suggest that stability is key to entrepreneurship and that the benefits of high quality regulation can be undermined by its excessive burden, reducing entrepreneurial action and harming development.

Social implications

Institutional actors should provide stability and allow for the improvement of the environment overall. Specifically, policy makers should aim at good quality regulation that is valid across the board, that provides stability and gives room for improvement of the institutions. Policy makers should refrain from trying to foster specific industries; they should instead provide a leveled playing field without trying to direct the entrepreneurial efforts towards an industry or geographic region and without being overly demeaning.


This research breaks new ground. It unites ideas from entrepreneurship and institutions suggesting a novel, much more nuanced approach to their interplay. The results can be used by scholars in the fields of entrepreneurship, institutions and economic development. They also have the potential to help to educate policy makers in their quest to improve the context for entrepreneurs.



D’Andrea, F.A.M.C. (2023), "Entrepreneurship and institutional uncertainty", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 10-31.



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