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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.