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Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2015

Gerard McElwee and Robert Smith

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the topic and discuss the individual chapters in this volume as well as to provide an intellectual orientation which will…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the topic and discuss the individual chapters in this volume as well as to provide an intellectual orientation which will hopefully inspire casual readers to read further. The main thesis behind this volume is that entrepreneurial crime and illegal enterprise span two very distinct yet complimentary academic disciplines – namely Criminology and Entrepreneurial/Business Studies. And that we need to take cognisance of both instead of writing and publishing in disciplinary silos.

Methodology/approach

Our methodological approach in this volume is predominantly qualitative and in addition mainly review based. Our editorial approach is/was one of laissez-faire in that we did not want to stifle authorial creativity or impose order where there was none, or very little. The result is a very eclectic collection of interesting readings which we hope will challenge researchers interested in the topics to cross inter- and intra-disciplinary literature in search of new theoretical models.

Findings

Rather than findings we see the contribution of the volume as being an attempt to start conversations between disciplines. We appreciate that this is only a beginning. There are discoveries and perhaps a need to redraw boundaries. One surprising finding was how much the authors all drew on the seminal work of William Baumol to the extent that it has become a common framework for understanding the cross overs.

Research limitations/implications

There are many limitations to the chapters in this volume. The main one is that in any edited volume the editors are faced with a dilemma of allowing more voices to emerge or imposing a restrictive explanatory framework which in turn shoe horns the chapters into an over-arching sense-making architecture. The limitation of this volume is that it can only present a few of the voices and only begin a synthesis. Interested researchers must work hard to draw meaning from the eclectic voices.

Practical implications

The practical implications from this chapter and the edited chapters are manifold. The chapters deal with complex issues and we have opted to allow the authorial voice to be heard and to allow disciplinary writing styles to remain as they are. This allows a very practical understanding of everyday implications to emerge.

There are many policy implications which arise from this introductory chapter and the chapters in this volume but these will take time to manifest themselves. The main point to take away is that to understand and interdict crime and in particular entrepreneurial crime we must draw on inter-disciplinary knowledge and theories of entrepreneurship and business in a wider sense.

Originality/value

This chapter introduces a series of apparently separate yet interconnected chapters which explore the bounds and boundaries of illegal entrepreneurship and its originality lies in its approach.

Details

Exploring Criminal and Illegal Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-551-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2015

Michelle Davey, Gerard McElwee and Robert Smith

Building on previous work from Frith, McElwee, Smith, Somerville and Fairlie this chapter further explores entrepreneurship as practiced by an entrepreneur (who is also a…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on previous work from Frith, McElwee, Smith, Somerville and Fairlie this chapter further explores entrepreneurship as practiced by an entrepreneur (who is also a drug dealer) in a rural, UK, northern, small-town context and how he does ‘strategy’.

Methodology/approach

This research was conducted in a broadly grounded approach using a conversational research methodology (Feldman, 1999). A series of conversations were conducted with a career drug dealer, guided by a very basic agenda-setting question of ‘how do you earn money?’ Emergent themes were explored through further conversation before being compared with literature and triangulated with third party conversations.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for research design, ethics and the conduct of such research are identified and discussed. As a research project this work is protean and as a case study the generalisations that can be made from this piece are necessarily limited. Access to and ethical approval for research directly with illegal entrepreneurs is fraught with difficulty in the risk-averse environment of academia. This limits the data available directly from illegal entrepreneurs. The credibility of data collected from third parties is limited by their peripheral interest in and awareness of entrepreneurship discourse, entrepreneurial life themes and the entrepreneurial dimension to crime, as well as by the structural bias implicit in the fact that many of these third parties deal only with what might be termed the unsuccessful entrepreneurs (i.e., those that got caught!) Findings represent a tentative indication of potential themes for further research.

Details

Exploring Criminal and Illegal Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-551-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2015

Stephen Dobson, Arun Sukumar and Lucian Tipi

There is little doubt that the explosive growth of the cyberspace has provided a wealth of opportunities for a broad range of legal and illegal enterprises. One of the…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little doubt that the explosive growth of the cyberspace has provided a wealth of opportunities for a broad range of legal and illegal enterprises. One of the characteristics of the cyberspace is that it removes many barriers (e.g. geographical, accessing potential customers, cost of entry) from the path of savvy entrepreneurs. As such, a new particular brand of entrepreneurs has been born – these are entrepreneurs working at the limits of legality or plainly outside any legal frameworks. The purpose of this work is to explore the area of illegal cyber-entrepreneurship and to illustrate some of the factors that have contributed to its explosive growth over the last two decades.

Approach

The work is utilising case studies drawn from literature and news sources to illustrate the theoretical concepts that are being explored. The literature consulted in this work supports the discussion around the areas of entrepreneurship, cyberspace and various aspects related to illegal exploitation of the cyberspace.

Findings

The positioning of illegal enterprises within existing theoretical frameworks is explored and a modelling of the characteristics of such enterprises is being proposed. The duality of the opportunities available within the cyberspace is illustrated, with an emphasis on the fact that there will always be a ‘gap’ between the opportunities offered by the cyberspace and the possible illegal nature of some of the entrepreneurial activities that are taking place in this space.

Originality/value

This work explores and positions the illegal entrepreneurial activities taking place in the cyberspace. This contributes to the advancement of knowledge in this area. Given the fast moving nature of this area, there are opportunities for updating this work on a regular basis.

Details

Exploring Criminal and Illegal Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-551-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Robert Smith and Gerard McElwee

The purpose of this reflective paper is to discuss and reflect and in the process celebrate the development of a qualitative research stream which continues to interrogate…

2381

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this reflective paper is to discuss and reflect and in the process celebrate the development of a qualitative research stream which continues to interrogate the unusual topic of illegal rural enterprise. The authors discuss how a common interest in rural entrepreneurship and rural criminology led to a very productive and continuing research collaborations.

Design/methodology/approach

To discuss, reflect and evaluate several qualitative methodologies arising out of a research stream into illegal rural enterprise.

Findings

The findings are tentative and subjective in nature but the authors strongly believe that writing qualitatively over a number of related topics and over several published articles legitimises the use of niche qualitative research methods and methodologies. Ultimately it will help develop robust methodologies. The authors agree that just as there is no single, universally applicable theorisation of entrepreneurial behaviours, actions and antics there is no single qualitative methodology that provides constant explanations.

Research limitations/implications

This reflective paper being a subjective and emotive rhetorical piece has obvious limitations in that the advice proffered may be strongly disputed by research managers and heads of department trying to build an orthodox research output. Also the understanding of qualitative research may differ from that of other scholars. This is surely cause for celebration! This will help the authors better understand the heterogeneity of entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

By discussing and celebrating a qualitatively driven research stream rather than discussing individual qualitative publications in isolation this reflection makes a contribution. The professional and institutional pressures to conform to productive mainstream research topics capable of publication in top tier journals poses a danger to the practice of conducting qualitative research which exist at the margins of individual disciplines. It is hoped that this discussion will act as an inspirational beacon to others to pursue research agendas for which they have a passion.

Originality/value

This reflective piece identifies and discusses an under researched area of entrepreneurship research namely how to craft and develop a unified qualitative research stream at the margins of entrepreneurship research.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Robert Smith

The purpose of this paper is to consider the industrial exploitation of fishing quotas as a case of organized criminal entrepreneurship. Seldom is consideration given to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the industrial exploitation of fishing quotas as a case of organized criminal entrepreneurship. Seldom is consideration given to the existence of informal and criminal entrepreneurship within the fishing industry. Consequentially, this case charts the “Black Fish Scandal” in the UK which saw the flouting of regulations and quotas on a commercial scale netting the protagonists £63 million through the illegal landing of undeclared fish.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study underpinning this paper is constructed using documentary research techniques.

Findings

Entrepreneurship can be destructive in a Baumolian sense as well as being productive. The moral of the story is that the entrepreneurs involved in the scandal are primarily small businessmen and not organized criminals; and that lessons can be learned from this case on how knowledge of entrepreneurship can be used to ensure that entrepreneurs and businessmen are not tempted to stray into the commission of economic crime.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the study is that it was constructed solely from media reports of the scandal. The implications of this study are widespread for politicians, local government, policy makers and academic researchers alike and highlight the rise and fall of an industry and the impact of “laissez-faire” entrepreneurship on the industry suggesting to politicians, local government, policy makers that there needs to be a more planned approach to encouraging entrepreneurship within such coastal communities.

Originality/value

This case based empirical study is of value because it is one of the first known UK studies of the Black Fish Scandal.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

Horst Brezinski and Michael Fritsch

Looks at problems and experiences of the so‐called “bottom‐up” transformation of the post‐socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Bottom‐ up transformation stands for the…

530

Abstract

Looks at problems and experiences of the so‐called “bottom‐up” transformation of the post‐socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Bottom‐ up transformation stands for the change of economic structures by means of new enterprises and already existing private firms. Discusses the experiences with the performance of small and new firms in the countries of the West, the potential role of small firms in post‐socialist countries as well as the prerequisites and impediments to the establishment of an economically strong small‐firm sector. Based on information on the development of the small‐firm sector in post‐socialist countries during the past years, analyses the relationship between private‐sector share and economic performance. Draws conclusions concerning implications for the future economic policy, the main conclusion being that bottom‐up transformation may be the only viable way for post‐socialist countries of Eastern Europe to transform but this way requires thorough support by government policy.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Robert Smith

Research into rural entrepreneurship continues to expand, albeit slowly. A common theme in the literature is the creation of value and its extraction from the environment…

1431

Abstract

Research into rural entrepreneurship continues to expand, albeit slowly. A common theme in the literature is the creation of value and its extraction from the environment. Rural entrepreneurship potentially covers a wide gamut of activity including the illegal. Also studies into agricultural entrepreneurship particularly traditional accounts of “rurality” tend to emphasise the rural idyll. Most studies tend to concentrate on the application of entrepreneurial theory to issues of rurality and as such exist on the margins of entrepreneurship research – being primarily studies into rurality and not entrepreneurship per se. Rarely do such studies impinge on issues of illegal enterprise that shatter this rural idyll. As a consequence, rural and farming rogues have been neglected as subjects of research. Yet, in the present perceived climate of economic decline in agricultural income, extracting value from the environment can be difficult and can give rise to illegal enterprise in the countryside as well as an increase in the prevalence of farming rogues. The case story, presented in this paper relates to one such illegal enterprise, namely the illegal slaughter of sheep for the Muslim “halal” market, known to those in the know as the smokies trade. Using the case story methodology this paper explores an issue of contemporary illegal enterprise in the countryside telling an important story that is otherwise difficult to evidence empirically.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 May 2015

Mellani J. Day

To expand understanding of the motive, knowledge, and skill acquisition of criminal entrepreneurs while incarcerated and on release.

Abstract

Purpose

To expand understanding of the motive, knowledge, and skill acquisition of criminal entrepreneurs while incarcerated and on release.

Methodology/approach

This chapter uses semi-structured interviews incorporating field observations from a convenience sample of ex-offenders in the state of Colorado, in the United States, who have been engaged in destructive entrepreneurship as well as local experts that work with ex-offenders in transition and reentry into society after a period of incarceration.

Findings

Many of these offenders’ actions outside of prison are highly entrepreneurial, with the creation of “ventures” that include production, inventory, sales, employees, managers, distribution, security, etc. When incarcerated with fellow “entrepreneurs,” tricks of the trade are exchanged producing even smarter destructive entrepreneurship upon release.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include a small sample of interviewees, responses are anecdotal, subjective truth, and localized to the state of Colorado in the United States.

Practical implications

The findings inform research on entrepreneurial cognition set in the destructive space, as well as reveal methods and intentions that lead to a better understanding of the “structure of the reward” for such behavior.

Social implications

An examination of this behavior and underlying motives provides insights as to how society might be better prepared for and redirect destructive entrepreneurial behavior toward more positive outcomes.

Originality/value

The current sparse literature engaging the concept of destructive entrepreneurship generally does so at the country, institution, or corporate level. This chapter focuses on destructive entrepreneurial behavior at the individual (micro venture) level and provides recommendations for policy consideration.

Details

Exploring Criminal and Illegal Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-551-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Natalia Vershinina and Yulia Rodionova

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues in studying hidden populations, with particular focus on methodology used to investigate ethnic minority entrepreneurs…

1351

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues in studying hidden populations, with particular focus on methodology used to investigate ethnic minority entrepreneurs who illegally run their businesses in the UK. In this paper, on reflection, the authors look at what issues should be considered before engaging with such communities, as we identify current approaches and evaluate their merits.

Design/methodology/approach

Certain methodological problems are faced by researchers working with hidden populations, and this paper explores these using a sample of Ukrainian illegal self‐employed construction workers operating in London. Semi‐structured interviews with 20 Ukrainians showcase the issues raised and help illustrate the limited applicability of some commonly used research methods to ethnic minority entrepreneurship studies. The authors used an intermediary to help gain access to these illegal migrants in order to satisfy the sensitive issues of this vulnerable group of respondents.

Findings

The authors analyse the ethical considerations, problems and issues with access to such data, discuss early and more recent sampling methodologies and the ways to estimate the size of hidden population. This paper, hence, establishes the state‐of‐the‐art approaches in this field and proposes potential improvements in achieving representativeness of the data. Using the Ukrainian illegal self‐employed construction workers as an example, this paper evaluates the choices made by the researchers.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to showcase the methodological issues emerging when studying hard‐to‐reach groups and to emphasise the limited applicability of some methods to research on hidden populations.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 31 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 August 2013

Friederike Welter and Mirela Xheneti

In this chapter, we advance an understanding of entrepreneurial resourcefulness in relation to context by focusing on challenging and sometimes outright hostile…

Abstract

In this chapter, we advance an understanding of entrepreneurial resourcefulness in relation to context by focusing on challenging and sometimes outright hostile environments and the way they shape, and are shaped by, entrepreneurial resourcefulness. Drawing on selective evidence from several projects in post-socialist countries in both Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia and other published research covering these countries, we argue for contextualized conceptualizations of resourcefulness. More specifically we emphasize that temporal, historical, socio-spatial, and institutional contexts are antecedents and boundaries for entrepreneurial behavior, while at the same time allowing for human agency. This is visible in individuals’ actions to negotiate, reenact, and cross these boundaries, and as a result, intentionally or inadvertently contributing to changing contexts. We suggest that resourcefulness is a dynamic concept encompassing multiple practices, which change over time, and it results from a close interplay of multiple contexts with entrepreneurial behavior. We also propose that from a theoretical point of view, resourcefulness not only needs to be contextualized, but it also needs to be explored together with its contextual outcomes – the value it creates and adds at different levels of society.

Details

Entrepreneurial Resourcefulness: Competing With Constraints
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-018-5

Keywords

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