Entrepreneurship is regarded as key to economic growth, job creation, and greater prosperity. Indeed, entrepreneurship drives net job growth in the United States, the European Union, and some Asian countries. Yet the United States has experienced a decline in entrepreneurial dynamism since the 1970s, and some European countries continue to struggle to build a culture of entrepreneurship despite significant policy efforts. At the same time many developing countries are experiencing a net rise in entrepreneurial activity, leading many to wonder about a specific aspect of the institutional environment, what the economics and public policy literatures call economic freedom (EF): a summary measure capturing the freedom to engage in economic activity without undue restrictions or subsidies. The papers in this symposium focus on EF, each offering a specific perspective on how scholars can theorize and study the effects of institutions and institutional change on entrepreneurship, and the effects of entrepreneurship on institutions, at and across different levels of analysis.
Public policy studies often seek to determine the effects of policy changes by treating the effects of individual differences as random error. Viewing managers as embedded agents whose social structures are subject to manipulation by policy makers, we illustrate how individual differences can be infused into policy research to glean insight into how and why policy changes affect decisions, such as where to locate new ventures. We consider how the effects of sociopolitical situational attributes (e.g., level of regulation, support services for business, cost of living, and natural and cultural amenities) are influenced by individual differences such as the manager’s position (entrepreneur or corporate executive), political party identification, and political values. Our illustrative investigation suggests that individual differences can systematically influence the efficacy of public policy and therefore deserve greater scholarly attention. We conclude by articulating the benefits of an embedded agency approach to researching entrepreneurship public policy.
Technology policy influences the incentives and opportunities firms have to innovate and adapt to changing environments and thus has important implications for strategy and entrepreneurship. However, to date, strategy and entrepreneurship scholars have paid insufficient attention to technology policy. We underscore the importance of two dimensions of technology policy: (1) state funding for research and (2) state protection of intellectual property (IP). We then illustrate how interactions between these two dimensions of technology policy influence (1) the corporate entrepreneurship (CE) strategies through which firms innovate and adapt and (2) the political strategies through which they attempt to influence and secure the benefits of technology policy. Given differences in the goals, incentives, capabilities, and relative power among the various players affected by technology policy, our discussion contributes to a more thorough understanding of the dynamic interplay between government institutions and firms, the potential complementarity (and substitutions) between firms’ CE and political strategies, and interdependent effects of state funding for research and IP protection across different international environments.
Entrepreneurial action is embedded within a variety of complex social structures, not all of which can be as easily defined or measured as macro-institutional or micro-individual characteristics. Nonetheless, these multilayered structures collectively hold rich insights—before now underexamined—into the actual causal mechanisms that affect entrepreneurial actions and outcomes. To address this problem, we call on researchers to broaden their levels of analysis and direct their focus to meso-level structures. Although meso-level social structures are widely studied independently, these intermediate levels are seldom integrated into existing multilevel models. We argue that meso-level structures offer untapped riches for enhancing multilevel entrepreneurial mechanisms and discuss how social groups, associations, and other collectives operating at a meso level can play a more distinct, integrative role between the two ends of the institutional spectrum. To provide practical guidance for pursuing such investigations, we adapt Coleman’s bathtub model to form a robust framework that integrates micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis. Our framework helps alleviate the shortcomings produced by an overdependence on either solely macro- or micro-level entrepreneurial mechanisms and offers fresh insights, as the intermediate level is more deeply integrated into this new framework.
We review the literature that links institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth outcomes, focusing in particular on empirical research. Most of the literature has an economics orientation, but we also review relevant literature from other social sciences, including management research. The review helps identify a number of conceptual, theoretical, and empirical gaps, calling for further research. For example, the literature narrowly identifies entrepreneurship with start-ups and self-employment; does not theorize many potentially relevant inter-level links and mechanisms; and suffers from sample limitations, omitted variable biases, causality issues, and response heterogeneity. We argue that theories in management research, such as the resource-based view, transaction cost economics, and strategic entrepreneurship theory, can fill some of the conceptual and theoretical gaps.
We outline the nature of paradox-savvy leader behavior by first considering an environmental context that increasingly demands attention to the paradoxes that are relevant to leaders. We then categorize such paradoxes as those that are inherent in leadership behavior per se, and those that are increasingly common in organizations. Based on this categorization, we outline four key paradoxes: (1) maintaining a strong sense of self while simultaneously maintaining humility, (2) maintaining control while simultaneously letting go of control, (3) stressing continuity while simultaneously stressing change, and (4) pursuing corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the strategic purpose of enhancing profits while simultaneously pursuing CSR for morally based purposes. In so doing, we consider the challenges in dealing with paradoxes and how such paradox-savvy leadership can be distinguished from, but still work in concert with, more classic approaches, such as situational/contingency leadership. We view our article as speaking to a broad range of management scholars, including those who are interested in leadership phenomena across organizational levels. In addition, beyond scholars, we view this article as being of concern to practitioners who have a continuing interest in new ideas for leaders and their development. Specifically, we suggest methods or strategies by which leaders can learn to effectively handle paradoxes.
Service recovery captures the organizational actions of seeking and dealing with a failure in service delivery. Although many studies have examined the outcomes of organizational efforts to manage service recovery, there is no comprehensive framework embracing the focal constructs, the causal relationships, the interdisciplinarity, and the levels of theory in service recovery. In this paper we synthesize theoretical and empirical studies examining the operations, marketing, and human resources management views on service recovery, offering three contributions to the literature. First, we develop an interdisciplinary and multilevel framework linking organizational investments in service recovery to organizational, employee, and customer outcomes, within and across levels of theory. Second, we integrate conceptual and empirical propositions from previously separate research. Third, we offer scholars a research agenda highlighting several issues that are in need of interdisciplinary research on service recovery.