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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2017

Breda Kenny and Isabel Rossiter

The purpose of this paper is to identify the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed, highlighting the barriers that need to be addressed, and to…

1028

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed, highlighting the barriers that need to be addressed, and to explore the impact of a tailored entrepreneurship training programme.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist philosophical standpoint is adopted with an action research approach to engage key informants to design, implement and evaluate the programme. Focus groups and interviews with 132 older unemployed individuals and 50 stakeholders across six countries were conducted as well as pre- and post-programme evaluations and surveys with 55 programme participants across three countries.

Findings

This research provides a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample size of participants measured using a hybrid measure of ESE is a limitation.

Practical implications

For entrepreneurship educators, the components of designing and delivering an entrepreneurship programme for older unemployed are identified. For enterprise and unemployment support agencies, it provides evidence of the initial and ongoing support needs for starting and running a business in later life.

Originality/value

A framework specific to older unemployed individuals turning towards self-employment or entrepreneurship is proposed and tested in this paper. The framework proposes that individual and contextual antecedents influence the decision to become self-employed in later life and that the training, support and entrepreneurial experience helps to overcome barriers and shapes individual and societal outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

Breda Kenny and John Fahy

The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of…

Abstract

The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of network capability on performance in international trade and has three research objectives.

The first objective of the study relates to providing new insights into the international market development activities through the application of a network perspective. The chapter reviews the international business literature to ascertain the development of thought, the research gaps, and the shortcomings. This review shows that the network perspective is a useful and popular theoretical domain that researchers can use to understand international activities, particularly of small, high technology, resource-constrained firms.

The second research objective is to gain a deeper understanding of network capability. This chapter presents a model for the impact of network capability on international performance by building on the emerging literature on the dynamic capabilities view of the firm. The model conceptualizes network capability in terms of network characteristics, network operation, and network resources. Network characteristics comprise strong and weak ties (operationalized as foreign-market entry modes), relational capability, and the level of trust between partners. Network operation focuses on network initiation, network coordination, and network learning capabilities. Network resources comprise network human-capital resources, synergy-sensitive resources (resource combinations within the network), and information sharing within the network.

The third research objective is to determine the impact of networking capability on the international performance of SMEs. The study analyzes 11 hypotheses through structural equations modeling using LISREL. The hypotheses relate to strong and weak ties, the relative strength of strong ties over weak ties, and each of the eight remaining constructs of networking capability in the study. The research conducts a cross-sectional study by using a sample of SMEs drawn from the telecommunications industry in Ireland.

The study supports the hypothesis that strong ties are more influential on international performance than weak ties. Similarly, network coordination and human-capital resources have a positive and significant association with international performance. Strong ties, weak ties, trust, network initiation, synergy-sensitive resources, relational capability, network learning, and information sharing do not have a significant association with international performance. The results of this study are strong (R2=0.63 for performance as the outcome) and provide a number of interesting insights into the relations between collaboration or networking capability and performance.

This study provides managers and policy makers with an improved understanding of the contingent effects of networks to highlight situations where networks might have limited, zero, or even negative effects on business outcomes. The study cautions against the tendency to interpret networks as universally beneficial to business development and performance outcomes.

Details

Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Breda Kenny

A career at the professional, elite level in sports does not last forever. One way or another, the day comes when players have to hang up their boots and move on, but to…

1570

Abstract

Purpose

A career at the professional, elite level in sports does not last forever. One way or another, the day comes when players have to hang up their boots and move on, but to what? Some stay in the sport as managers or coaches, become broadcast announcers, or use their name recognition to pitch a product. However, for many their future opportunities lie in entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of the entrepreneurial learning needs of professional rugby players preparing for a career transition and asks the following questions: What are the specific needs of professional athletes in relation to entrepreneurial learning?, and, what are the key elements of designing an entrepreneurship programme to meet these needs?

Design/methodology/approach

The author adopted an interpretivist philosophical standpoint for this research, with an inductive research approach to explore various components of a tailored entrepreneurship training programme called the “Certificate in Enterprise Potential” (CEP) using the process of emergent inquiry. This programme was designed specifically for professional rugby athletes in Ireland. In gathering the data for the case study, the author pursued established principles of data collection, and used multiple sources of evidence.

Findings

The findings provide evidence of the entrepreneurial learning needs of professional athletes in career transition and identifies the key elements to be considered when designing an entrepreneurship programme to meet these needs. The findings are presented under the headings context, objectives and outcomes, audience, content, pedagogy, assessment and evaluation.

Research limitations/implications

There are multiple implications from this study. For entrepreneurship educators, the various components of designing a tailored entrepreneurship programme for professional athletes are identified and outlined. For researchers, it opens the door for research with other sports people from different contexts. For professional athletes and professionals working with athletes, it provides evidence of a non-athletic and an entrepreneurial career transition model that builds on the player’s social identity, social networks and taps into an existing HEI entrepreneurship ecosystem. The research was confined to a single case study for a specific target audience and needs replication with other cohorts in order to reduce the chance of these findings being unique to one single case.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on the career transition and mid-career aspect of entrepreneurship education and in particular the career transition needs of the professional athletes. These findings provide a deeper understanding of mid-career entrepreneurship education, specifically in the contexts of professional athletes and HEI’s. Many athletes are forced to end their sporting careers early and with little hope of a meaningful or alternative long-term career options. This paper goes some way in addressing this concern.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Breda Kenny and John Fahy

This study aims to identify and examine the relationship between network resources and international performance of high tech small to medium‐sized enterprises (HTSME) in…

3204

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and examine the relationship between network resources and international performance of high tech small to medium‐sized enterprises (HTSME) in the telecommunications industry in Ireland. The network resource construct for this paper comprises three dimensions: network human capital resources, network resource combination, and information sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical research was carried out using a mail survey in which 154 firms completed and returned the questionnaire. Three hypotheses were analysed using structural equations modelling using LISREL.

Findings

The study's main finding suggests a positive relationship between a firm's network human capital resources and international performance. However, no support was found for the relationship between network resources combinations, information sharing and international performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study is cross‐sectional, confined to a single industry and focused on the role of networks in the HTSME context only. Results from this study provide policy makers and practitioners with additional insights into specific network resource‐based factors that are associated with international performance for HTSMEs. Such an assessment would help identify specific areas of relationship strengths and weaknesses in terms of the level of human capital available to firms, the combinations of complementary resources across firms and the extent and level of information exchange between firms.

Practical implications

The paper concludes with a discussion of these findings and the overall implications for policy makers and managers. Specifically, it is necessary to identify and review the types of resources that are critical to the international performance of firms and develop and implement business strategies building on those resources in order to enhance the likelihood of international success.

Originality/value

This study offers a multiple dimensionality to the network resource concept by measuring the direct effect of the type of network resources in terms of human capital, information and network resource combinations on international performance of HTSMEs in the telecommunications industry. These findings advance network research by highlighting the trade‐offs that networks impose on firms that seek to manage and leverage their network resources.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Margaret Fletcher and Sharon Loane

1057

Abstract

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

Abstract

Details

Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

No firm is an island. Decisions, actions, and outcomes of a firm are embedded in their relationships with suppliers, customers, competitors, downstream, and upstream…

Abstract

No firm is an island. Decisions, actions, and outcomes of a firm are embedded in their relationships with suppliers, customers, competitors, downstream, and upstream firms. The formation and management of strategic alliances among firms within an interfirm network of firms inform awareness that a firm needs to develop a strategic stance explicitly of its contributions and the resulting outcomes of all participants within an interfirm network of firms.

Details

Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Antonella La Rocca

984

Abstract

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Erik de Waard, Henk W. Volberda and Joseph Soeters

Crisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

Crisis management entails among other things developing organizational systems that are capable of reacting to unpredictable and different types of crises. It also involves designing cohesive operational elements to deal with the local dynamics of an actual crisis situation. This challenge of responsiveness – where organizations simultaneously need to react to change demands of different task environments – has hardly been investigated in management theory. The purpose of this paper is to initiate to shed more light on this blind spot.

Design/methodology/approach

Modular organizing and organizational sensing are introduced as key drivers of organizational responsiveness. Based on a large-scale survey among 1,200 senior officers the study investigates how these two variables have influenced the responsiveness of the Netherlands armed forces for crisis response deployment.

Findings

The findings indicate that the level of modularization is an important facilitator of organizational responsiveness. Organizational systems that are made up of semi-autonomous work groups are in a better position to simultaneously live up to the change demands of different environmental levels than organizations that follow a fine-grained modularization approach.

Originality/value

It uses the military crisis response organization as an exemplary case for project-based organzations in general to take advantage of.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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