Looking inside the spiky bits: a critical review and conceptualisation of entrepreneurial ecosystems

Brown, R. and Mason, C. (2017) Looking inside the spiky bits: a critical review and conceptualisation of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Small Business Economics, 49(1), pp. 11-30. (doi: 10.1007/s11187-017-9865-7)

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The concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems has quickly established itself as one of the latest ‘fads’ in entrepreneurship research. At face value, this kind of systemic approach to entrepreneurship offers a new and distinctive path for scholars and policy makers to help understand and foster growth-oriented entrepreneurship. However, its lack of specification and conceptual limitations has undoubtedly hindered our understanding of these complex organisms. Indeed, the rapid adoption of the concept has tended to overlook the heterogeneous nature of ecosystems. This paper provides a critical review and conceptualisation of the ecosystems concept: it unpacks the dynamics of the concept; outlines its theoretical limitations; measurement approaches and use in policy-making. It sets out a preliminary taxonomy of different archetypal ecosystems. The paper concludes that entrepreneurial ecosystems are a highly variegated, multi-actor and multi-scalar phenomenon, requiring bespoke policy interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mason, Professor Colin
Authors: Brown, R., and Mason, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Small Business Economics
ISSN (Online):1573-0913
Published Online:02 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Small Business Economics 49(1):11-30
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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