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The congruence of entrepreneurship and India’s excellence in information technology

Sankalpa Bhattacharjee (Economics Area, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Jharkhand, India)
Debkumar Chakrabarti (Department of Economics, Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belur Math, Howrah, India)

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing

ISSN: 2398-5364

Article publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to unravel the congruence of entrepreneurship and India’s excellence in information technology (IT). Considering the fact that entrepreneurship is a multifaceted concept encompassing a complex set of contiguous and overlapping constructs, the study takes into consideration interlinkages between the institutional environment, the nature of the industry and the responses and expectations that influenced entrepreneurship. The study complements these factors by analysing the sequential transformation of the Indian IT industry owing to the advent of outsourcing opportunities and concomitant ramifications on entrepreneurial activities. In effect, the study highlights the endogeneity in the system wherein entrepreneurs have continually adapted to the industry dynamics resulting in its significant expansion.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology adopted is the historical research method. Fundamentally idiographic, it helps in understanding contemporary issues, how they arose and how their characteristics unfolded over time. To this end, historical contextualisation has been carried out as an interpretative or analytical activity to capture the dynamic process of entrepreneurship. The idea was to capture the broad consequences of entrepreneurial interactions and processes over a long-time horizon classified into six different phases since inception. The historical contextualisation enabled us not only to pinpoint the disequilibrium processes at each phase of development that ushered in structural changes in the industry but also to identify and examine the complex interactions between the various factors that led to the growth of entrepreneurship.

Findings

Findings reveal that the Indian IT industry has undergone a series of disruptive changes since inception. Disequilibrium in the market plays a critical role in the initiation of entrepreneurship. In the formative phases, disequilibrium is initiated by the “adaptive” responses of the entrepreneurs, whereas in the advanced phases, entrepreneurial process is augmented by the “creative” responses resulting in the perpetuation of disequilibrium. Such shifts in entrepreneurial responses indicate a gradual progression from “gradient” to more “heuristic” search efforts on the part of the entrepreneurs. This progression testifies the perpetuation of entrepreneurship in imparting sustainability to the growth momentum of the industry in the foreseeable future.

Research limitations/implications

The study attempts to fill three important gaps in the literature: First, enrich the Austrian economics with empirical findings. Second, integrate two different strands of literature on entrepreneurship and evolution of India’s IT sector using unique configuration. Third, extend the literature on entrepreneurship in the Indian context to capture entrepreneurial prudence in the Indian IT sector and thereby enrich the literature with newer findings and richer insights.

Practical implications

Analysis of factors that imparted entrepreneurial prudence in the Indian IT sector can endow policymakers with valuable information for enhancing growth in industries that are having a close association with the IT industry in the “product space”.

Originality/value

The study is original on account of the unique configuration that it has adopted to unravel the complexity embedded in the concept of entrepreneurship considering a long-time horizon of six decades since inception which includes the analysis of disequilibrium; the entrepreneurship-institution interlinkages; the nature of the industry; and the role of outsourcing.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are very grateful to the editor and five anonymous reviewers for their incisive comments and suggestions that imparted more clarity and strengthened the context of the study. The authors would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to Abhisek Sur for assisting us in proofreading the manuscript. The usual disclaimer applies.

Citation

Bhattacharjee, S. and Chakrabarti, D. (2017), "The congruence of entrepreneurship and India’s excellence in information technology", Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 159-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGOSS-05-2016-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited