Reflections and Extensions on Key Papers of the First Twenty-Five Years of Advances: Volume 20

Cover of Reflections and Extensions on Key Papers of the First Twenty-Five Years of Advances

Table of contents

(11 chapters)


Pages i-xii
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Twenty-one years ago (1997), the entrepreneurial revolution, both academic and actual, was just beginning. Entrepreneurial opportunities represent both the core theoretical construct and the plethora of products, services, processes, and business models, which dramatically changed daily life. This chapter examines key developments, which have emerged in the scholarly investigation of the opportunity identification process during the intervening years: what fundamentally is an opportunity; what socio-cognitive processes are involved; what is the role of time, of meaning, of context; and finally, what is the relationship between the academic and practitioner. In addition, exemplary research work is highlighted and guidelines for future academic efforts are offered.


This chapter is a brief review of some of the research themes of the past two decades on entrepreneurs, networks, and economic development. It begins with embeddedness and the heterogeneity of networks. Next, the chapter turns to a new concept that has emerged during the past decade: entrepreneurial ecosystems. Then, the author reviews the dynamics involved in entrepreneurship and regional development.


Entrepreneurial ecosystems have quickly become one of the most popular topics in entrepreneurship research. Ecosystems are the characteristics and factors of a place that support high-growth entrepreneurship. This provides the ability for the field to provide important policy insights about how to aid the development of high growth, innovative ventures, as well as generate new insights into the relationship between the entrepreneurship phenomenon and the contexts it takes place within. However, work in the field remains undertheorized, with a little understanding of how the entrepreneur benefits from being in a strong ecosystem. This chapter argues that it is helpful to return to Ed Malecki’s work in a previous volume of this series, which explored the importance of networks. His work has contributed to a very broad stream of work on entrepreneurial environment. Using this as a starting point, this chapter distinguishes between “top-down” approaches to study ecosystems, which focus on the actors and factors that make up an ecosystem, and a “bottom-up” approach, which instead examines the ways in which entrepreneurs use their ecosystem to get the resources, knowledge, and support they need. The chapter concludes by suggesting how a research agenda for a bottom-up study of ecosystems can be informed by Malecki’s work.


This chapter is a reflection on the Shepherd and Zacharakis (1997) paper, which starts with a review of citations in the intervening 20 years, and dives more deeply into these works to better describe and consider the evolution and use of conjoint analysis in entrepreneurship research. The proliferation of new uses for a conjoint analysis are identified, such as more studies of entrepreneurial decision making, which came to supplant the early efforts, which focused on venture capital decisions. Additional expansions into other entrepreneurship stakeholder groups are also reviewed. The use of conjoint as an accelerator of multilevel research is also noted, as are the improvements and challenges in conjoint methodologies as the field has matured.


Judgments and decision are central to entrepreneurship, but capturing them empirically is challenging. Shepherd and Zacharakis (1997) addressed this challenge by identifying metric conjoint analysis as an experimental method capable of capturing the decision policies of actors engaged in entrepreneurial task, creating a “window of opportunity” for entrepreneurship research. On the twentieth anniversary of this chapter, the authors reflect on the impact the ideas had on their own work and careers, while, at the same time, address the possibility that the “typical” conjoint study may have reached the end. From this platform, the authors identify unknown attributes, interactive effects, rich media, mixed methods, and sophisticated data analysis as potential pathways by which conjoint analysis can continue to advance understanding of entrepreneurship. Their conclusion is that when coupled with impactful research questions, innovative uses of conjoint analysis have an important role to play in the future of entrepreneurship research. Hence, the authors believe that Dean A. Shepherd’s and Zach Zacharakis’s bold effort will continue as a quintessential resource for those researchers who wish to tap the mind of entrepreneurs, investors, and other key actors as they traverse the journey of business venturing.


The history of the field of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship program at Saint Louis University is discussed, along with the descriptions of the Gateways to Entrepreneurship Conferences and the creation of the Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth (AEFEG) series given in relation to those national- and campus-level contexts. The growth and development of the AEFEG series is discussed and the editorial contributors are noted, which could be of use to those interested in editorial roles and processes. Based on these elements, the chapter concludes with observations on the field of entrepreneurship and some ideas about its future.

Cover of Reflections and Extensions on Key Papers of the First Twenty-Five Years of Advances
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Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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