Issues of entrepreneurship

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 25 April 2008



Jones, O. (2008), "Issues of entrepreneurship", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 14 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Issues of entrepreneurship

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Volume 14, Issue 3.

In this issue we have three papers which use very different approaches and take very different views on the nature of entrepreneurship. Tang improves our understanding of links between entrepreneurs’ alertness of and the nature of the environment in which they are operating. In contrast to Tang’s quantitative approach, Huovinen and Tihula adopt a case study approach to examine the influences of prior experience on habitual entrepreneurs. Finally, Valliere uses a small sample of Buddhist entrepreneurs to re-examine the role that religion plays in the decision to start a new business.

Tang draws on data from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) to examine the effects of environmental munificence on entrepreneurs’ alertness as moderated by self-efficacy; and the effects of this alertness on entrepreneurs’ commitment to their new ventures. The results show a strong relationship between environmental munificence and alertness which is an essentially individualistic entrepreneurial characteristic. This is especially the case when entrepreneurs have high levels of self-efficacy in performing the tasks of new venture creation. Tang highlights the positive effects that alertness has on continuance, behavioural, affective, and overall commitment of entrepreneurs to their new businesses. The study makes an important contribution to existing knowledge about the relationship between environmental munificence, alertness and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. It reveals that the importance of environmental munificence for alertness and the more specific impact of entrepreneurs’ self-efficacy on alertness. As the author posits, entrepreneurs with heightened alertness are more committed to their new ventures - affectively, behaviourally, and physically. So this study confirms the interactive effect between environmental conditions (munificence) and individual characteristics (self-efficacy) on entrepreneurial alertness. These findings have important implications for the theory and practice of developing entrepreneurial firms and should encourage public policy-makers to create an appropriate environment that fosters entrepreneurship

In the context of the habitual entrepreneurship, research has focused on the reasons behind the activity and the meaning of prior entrepreneurial experience. However, little is known about the influence of prior failure experience on current business activities. In their single-case analysis, Huovinen and Tihula present an example of how learning from previous experience impacts on the management of a portfolio of firms. The authors use the case of a unique portfolio entrepreneur to demonstrate that one failure does not necessarily mean definite failure in entrepreneurship. At best, failure can increase entrepreneurial expertise, strengthen self-efficacy and lead to the development of new businesses. This study indicates that the development of entrepreneurial knowledge is influenced by challenges, including success and failure, during the entrepreneur’s career. The case provides an example of how previous failure experience can develop the self-knowledge of an entrepreneur and affect the management and organisation of each of the firms. In clarifying how it is possible to manage several firms the authors highlight the important role of the management teams (MT) that enable effective control and management of the entrepreneur’s portfolio. The authors’ conclude, in addition to the entrepreneurial team, management teams also have a significant role in the context of portfolio management.

Recent literature has given a considerable amount of attention to the role played by social norms in the entrepreneurial decision. It is widely accepted that the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship is complex and interdependent and affected by a wide range of factors including personality, ethnicity, network structures and education. The paper by Valliere represents one of the first to examination the specific role played by Buddhist beliefs in entrepreneurship. In his novel interpretive study, he examines the influence of the Buddhist doctrine of “Right Livelihood” on entrepreneurs in Canada and Nepal. Valliere seeks to identify the influence of religion on the creation and operation of new businesses by exploring religious influences upon the recognition and evaluation of business opportunities and on the entrepreneurs who pursue them. Entrepreneurship is not solely a western phenomenon as it occurs in diverse socio-cultural contexts representing an important facet of global entrepreneurial behaviour. Therefore, as the findings suggest, other religious traditions may play significant roles in the entrepreneurial decision and dictate the way entrepreneurs fit within existing social systems. Entrepreneurs take decisions in a much broader social and cultural context than current theoretical, economic or psychological approaches accommodate. The exploratory study has observed the influence of social and religious factors on the entrepreneurial decision. Nevertheless, it has thrown valuable light on the way Buddhist entrepreneurs consider the doctrine of “Right Livelihood” as relevant to their practice of entrepreneurship. Furthermore Valliere has provided an extension to existing research on the general influences of religious beliefs and norms on entrepreneurial decision-making.

Oswald Jones

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