Enterprising Places: Leadership and Governance Networks: Volume 3

Subject:

Table of contents

(20 chapters)

List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
Content available

Preface

Page ix
Content available
Purpose

This chapter reviews and critiques the recent evolution of place-based entrepreneurship policy in the United Kingdom, in particular the governance of policies targeted at the regional level to promote economic development and competitiveness. The focus of the chapter is the evolution occurring from 1997, when the Labour government came to power, through to the period leading to the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government, which came to power in 2010.

Methodology/approach

A review and critique of key academic and policy-based literature.

Findings

The chapter shows the way in which governance systems and policies aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship have permeated regional development policy at a number of levels in the United Kingdom. In general, the overarching themes of enterprise policy are similar across the regions, but the difference in governance arrangements demonstrates how emphasis and delivery varies.

Practical implications

Place-based enterprise policy needs long-term commitment, with interventions required to survive changes in approaches to governance if they are to prove effective; something which has been far from the case in recent years. Whilst the analysis is drawn from the case of the United Kingdom, the lessons with regard to the connection between regional modes of governance and effective policy implementation are ones that resonate across other nations that are similarly seeking to stimulate the development of entrepreneurial regions.

Social implications

Evidence of ongoing disparities in regional economic development and competitiveness, linked to differences in regional business culture, suggest the continuance of market failure, whereby leading regions continue to attract resources and stimulate entrepreneurial opportunities at the expense of less competitive regions.

Originality/value of paper

The time period covered by the chapter – 1997 onwards – forms an historic era with regard to changing regional governance and enterprise policy in the United Kingdom, with the emergence – and subsequent demise – of regional development agencies (RDAs) across English regions, as well as the introduction of regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which were handed certain powers for economic and enterprise development from the UK central government.

Purpose

This chapter uses a historical lens to analyse the role of governance institutions in shaping enterprising places using the context of the English city of Coventry in the early to late Middle Ages. Using historical documentation as an empirical method, this chapter examines the formation, evolution, growth, maturation, decline of institutional structures, related governance mechanisms and their interactions with other institutional influences that shaped the entrepreneurial nature of the city and its economy. The chapter discusses aspects of success, failures and discontinuities that beset the entrepreneurial landscape of the city and draws parallels to some contemporary developments in UK’s entrepreneurial governance.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is underpinned by a research methodological approach that is historical and processual in nature and relies on historical documentation including archival sources of empirical material and other published data which have not previously been studied in the context of entrepreneurship and public governance. The research method and approach addresses a methodological and conceptual void in extant entrepreneurship literature.

Findings

The empirical findings from archival sources of data and their analysis sheds a new interpretive light on the nature of enterprising places as a combination of continual historical synergies in the specific context of Coventry. The chapter specifically focuses on the role of merchant and craft guilds as a unique presence in the entrepreneurial landscape of Coventry in the early to late Middle Ages and their contribution as powerful institutional and governance forces in shaping the city’s economic history. The guilds and associated governance institutions exercised and enacted multiple economic, legislative, regulatory, civic, municipal, socio-cultural and religious roles and left a strong imprint on the city’s economic destiny that endured for several centuries. Through the interpenetrative influences of these guilds with other political, royal and religious institutional structures of their day, the economic history of the city and its enterprise was woven together in a fabric of cooperation, discord and power struggles. The historical analysis provides a powerful narrative in charting this story and draws parallels to ongoing struggles in contemporary developments in Coventry’s entrepreneurial governance and leadership.

Research and practical implications

The chapter contributes a historic and contextually enriched sensibility in understanding the entrepreneurial and economic history of Coventry as viewed through the lens of institutional interactions and provides a valuable study that draws parallels between the past and the present. It provides a historically informed approach in understanding the current context of the nation’s local and regional economic policies and attempts to understand how enterprise and enterprising places thrive and sometimes struggle to survive within such a landscape.

Originality/value of chapter

The chapter is a unique take on the analysis of entrepreneurship and institutional governance of a city’s local economy in that it takes a historical perspective of issues that animate current public discourse. A historical approach to studying entrepreneurship provides a longitudinal and macro perspective to studying ideological debates that shade contemporary economic, political and socio-cultural governance. The analysis draws interesting parallels to the power discourses and dynamics and ideological conflicts that shaped institutional influences across centuries that impacted upon the city’s economy and use that as a backdrop to comment upon contemporary developments in the policy landscape viewed as an articulation of a political-ideological agenda. The analysis provides and calls for a greater application of historical sensibilities in governance and entrepreneurship scholarship in order to glean valuable lessons.

Purpose

To examine the governance network in Northamptonshire, an area awarded the status of the most enterprising place in Britain in 2012.

Methodology

A combination of original interviews and documentary analysis to track the development of governance across two place-based initiatives.

Findings

Governance and leadership efforts were hindered by three factors prior to 2010; geographical, issues of legitimacy and a lack of stimulus for action in a successful economy. Changes since the General Election have enabled the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to overcome the first of these but work on the other two is ongoing.

Research limitations

The research has been conducted in the early stages of the LEP’s work and more time is needed to see if the progress made to date translates into a meaningful role.

Social implications

Place-based strategies need to be based around pre-agreed territorial boundaries. In addition development agencies need to be able to demonstrate competency in order to be seen as legitimate actors.

Originality/value of chapter

The chapter offers an insight into establishing governance and leadership in an already successful economy. Most papers in this area either examine deprived areas or areas where governance is key to the success.

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to investigate the different business co-operation mechanisms within two different Portuguese industries, with particular regards to the nature of the industry and to the places in which these industries are embedded.

Methodology/approach

This chapter uses qualitative data to explore the mechanisms associated to forms of business co-operation in enterprising places.

Findings

Manufacturing industries require a particular location of activities and, in many cases, these firms cluster in local productive systems. In such cases, co-operation mechanisms assume particular forms. Production is a critical business activity in traditional manufacturing industries, while its relative importance is smaller for other industries.

Research limitations/implications

The findings obtained in this research do not allow generality of the results. However, it provides an in-depth explanation of the mechanisms of business co-operation taking place in enterprising places and elsewhere.

Originality/value of the chapter

This chapter compares two contrasting Portuguese industries, allowing to suggest that some of the business co-operation mechanisms are particular of certain business contexts. It contrasts a manufacturing, traditional and geographically concentrated industry (furniture) with a service-based, modern and geographically dispersed industry (events organisation). In addition, it allows to gain insights on the evolution of business co-operation as it uses data collected from two different generations of entrepreneurs within the furniture industry.

Purpose

This chapter aims to explore the means by which rural food business networks can contribute to sustainable rural development.

Methodology/approach

This chapter explores the role of rural food business networks in sustainable rural development. This is conducted initially through a literature review. This is followed by presentation of case studies of two Irish rural food business networks; a discussion of the evident rural development brought about by the actions and activities of these networks; and an exploration of some of the factors that influence the capacity of the networks to bring about rural development.

Findings

This chapter presents evidence that demonstrates the important contribution rural business networks can make to rural development. It also finds that factors such as autonomy, embeddedness and place can influence the effectiveness of a network in bringing about and sustaining rural development.

Research limitations/implications

Despite several interesting findings emerging from this research, the level to which these findings can be generalised is limited. Future research of aspects of network operation such as access to infrastructure and services would assist in ascertaining the importance of place for rural business networks and their ability to bring about rural development.

Practical implications

Given the significant role that networks now play in the rural development strategies of place-based organisations, this chapter has important implications for how those organisations initiate and structure those networks.

Social implications

This chapter can serve as an encouragement to rural entrepreneurs to engage in networking activities to reduce rural isolation, create stronger links with their consumers and to sustain their businesses.

Originality/value of chapter

The focus of this chapter on factors such as embeddedness, autonomy and place and their impact on rural business networks, provides a rare opportunity to the reader to appreciate the influence of these factors on networks and their capacity to bring about and sustain rural development.

Purpose

Refining and updating Harvey’s theorisation of the shift from managerialism to entrepreneurialism, this chapter charts the changing business of entrepreneurial governance through an examination of English economic development practice. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), sub-national entrepreneurial governance entities, provide the empirical lens to understand the contemporary role of private interests in the pursuit of public goals in securing innovative approaches to economic development.

Methodology/approach

Comparative analysis of the strategic priorities, ways of working and interventions of LEPs operating across Greater Birmingham and the North East of England is undertaken against the backdrop of a competitive environment where the mantra is ‘the market knows best’.

Findings

The key finding is that while some policy outcomes are prosaic, albeit across contextually distinct entrepreneurial governance places, more innovative policy approaches are emerging.

Practical implications

The chapter shows that there remains value in business involvement in urban governance in its present mode. A more permissive, entrepreneurial mode of governance with the liberation of private enterprise may be leading to imaginative as well as boosterist ways of securing sustainable growth.

Originality/value of the chapter

The chapter suggests some options for policy-makers and a series of challenges for decision-makers.

Purpose

This chapter addresses the question how entrepreneurial synergies can be stimulated in places by leadership and network governance in the context of the knowledge economy. The chapter not only analyses the role of leadership in a regional case in the Netherlands, but also assesses to what extend place-based characteristics play a role.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is based on a case-study-analysis of the region Brainport Eindhoven. Data were collected via 27 interviews in 2 rounds (in 2008 and in 2012), and retrieved from academic literature, case documents and governmental plans.

Findings

This chapter shows the importance of knowledge leadership in creating entrepreneurial synergies in the region Brainport Eindhoven. Entrepreneurial synergies is defined here as the creation of governance conditions and a context for effective entrepreneurial activities and regional co-operation between entrepreneurs, to enhance innovation. The socio-spatial quality of this place, path-dependency and the establishment of a regional regime explain the clustering of high-tech firms in a context of pro-active policy support, embedded in a cultural tradition of public–private co-operation. Key-persons of the private sector, science, and government enabled the development by taking initiative, co-operating, framing issues and aligning people around the agenda of Brainport.

Practical implications

The chapter gives insights on how leaders can enhance entrepreneurial synergies rooted in place-based assets and characteristics, by using network power, resources, ‘windows of opportunity’ and by linking ideas, inspiration and individuals from different strands of the triple-helix.

Social implications

Revealing normative leadership lessons – how leadership is enacted in ‘everyday’ practice – may also allow us to explain, at least to some limited extent, why some localities are able to adapt to the ever changing social and economic conditions of the modern world, and are successful in creating entrepreneurial synergies. Beyond this, deeper critical appreciations provide us with insights into the interplay between leadership, power and resources – and shed light on the questions of why and for whom economy and society are ‘organised’, in different places and at different times.

Originality/value of chapter

The chapter offers new insights in the importance of place and the leadership dimension in the context of the continuing debate around the effectiveness of sub-national economic development policy for the so-called ‘knowledge era’.

Purpose

The chapter aims to explore the themes of enterprise, leadership and partnership through examining aspects of the changing roles of and relationships between public, private and third sectors in the city of Leeds.

Methodology/approach

The chapter draws on the author’s long involvement in the city of Leeds, augmented by recent interviews with a range of different senior actors and set within the context of relevant literature.

Findings

The chapter suggests that despite a history of diverse enterprise, there have been some elements of external forces and internal culture and operational style that have held the city back. Recent national, city region and local reforms may have positive impacts and enable the city to realise more of its potential, though there remain formidable obstacles to progress.

Research limitations/implications

Despite providing rich and meaningful insights that enhance understanding, the single case approach limits the potential for generalising the findings.

Practical implications

Other cities can learn from the experience of Leeds and how the ways of working here relate to findings by academics in other cities.

Originality/value of chapter

The general forces of change in enterprise, governance and leadership can only really be understood in terms of how they play out in specific settings.

Purpose

Across the global community the eradication of slums has been identified as a key project as part of the broader goal to eradicate poverty. Entrepreneurial efforts are viewed as a key means of ‘lifting’ people from poverty. Through a focus on Nigeria, this chapter examines slum upgrading programmes. The primary aim is to identify the opportunities and barriers facing inhabitants of informal settlements to realising entrepreneurial synergies that can occur in particular places.

Methodology/approach

A case study examination of the Kpirikpiri informal settlement in Ebonyi State, Nigeria was conducted that utilised a mixed-method approach. The research passed through three key phases. The first phase comprised a literature survey and review. The second phase involved a household survey to gather some baseline socio-economic and physical data that helped to fill the void of basic data. A total of 142 respondents participated in the survey, representing 10% of the total number of households in the area. The third phase involved the collection of qualitative data through focus group discussions and individual interviews.

Findings

Slum dwellers have skills and formal education equivalent to those in the Global North. Nevertheless, Nigerians tend to view entrepreneurial activities as secondary to other forms of employment, especially positions in the public sector. Paradoxically, slum dwellers place little trust in state authorities. Security of tenure is a major barrier to expanding entrepreneurial activities, as many landlords are reluctant to permit tenants to operate home-based enterprises, which is often a neglected element of place-based development strategies.

Research and practical implications

The chapter demonstrates the need for basic socio-economic datasets alongside user perspectives to shape the efficacy of development initiatives. In the case of Kpirikpiri, slum improvement programmes may have benefited from parallel educational programmes that expound the virtues of entrepreneurialism and concomitant training schemes, improved governance open to local social networks, less emphasis on physical upgrading of some forms of infrastructure and greater attention towards improving security of tenure as a path towards generating more home-based enterprises.

Originality/value of paper

The entrepreneurial potential of the inhabitants of informal settlements is under-acknowledged in ‘upgrading’ interventions and also underplayed in the research literature. The chapter draws some much needed critical attention to the opportunities and barriers facing inhabitants of informal settlements, which helps to challenge some dominant transnational policy assumptions.

Purpose

This chapter explores the importance of place in the creation of new enterprise and wealth.

Methodology/approach

The chapter deploys a case study of the Liverpool city-region and provides a critical review of the conditions for small enterprise in the locality, with attention paid to enterprise in low income communities.

Findings

The argument here suggests that place and public investment are important contributory factors to help understand how enterprise can contribute to wealth creation.

Research limitations/implications

Further work is required to comprehend the wider aspects of enterprise in the context of place and particularly its relevance to low income communities.

Practical implications

Policy makers may acknowledge how enterprise as a tool of wealth creation can reinforce local dynamics of social and economic exclusion and that the nuance of place needs to be taken into account.

Social implications

Small enterprises have a wider potential beyond their economic role to impact local communities.

Originality/value

There are some studies in entrepreneurship that consider the propinquity between enterprise, place and wealth creation although placing this in the context of local economic decline and low income communities is a relatively under researched and misunderstood domain.

DOI
10.1108/S2040-724620143
Publication date
2014-08-08
Book series
Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78350-642-2
eISBN
978-1-78350-641-5
Book series ISSN
2040-7246