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Adopting evolutionary and behavioral approaches, this volume presents the latest research advances in knowledge competencies and human capital, as well as the changing structural dynamics, highlighting their links with entrepreneurial activities. It provides a set of international, benchmark case studies on initiatives (at the national, regional or individual level) geared towards entrepreneurship development. Focusing on diverse environments, systems and life cycle stages: young, established and transition industries and markets; as well as regions, it offers a valuable guide for scholars and practitioners interested in the interaction of entrepreneurship, knowledge competencies, human resources management and innovation.




This volume emerges in an especially competitive, challenging and uncertain context, around which the current digital transformation, artificial intelligence and intelligent machines tend to take over from the human workforce. However, creativity combined with some irrationality of aptitudes and behaviour, as well as the growing importance of the network value (or utility) of future expectations and those realized, reveal the importance of directing additional research efforts towards better understanding of the importance of developing behavioural and technical competences, especially those oriented towards entrepreneurship and innovation systems, which distinguish human capital as a highly differentiating production factor which, together with knowledge, form the endogenous motors of growth and change.
Serena Cubico, Giuseppe Favretto, João Leitão, Uwe Cantner

Entrepreneurial and Knowledge Competences


Entrepreneurial Competences: Comparing and Contrasting Models and Taxonomies

The emphasis on competences as capturing key aspects of entrepreneurship is relatively recent and quite distinct from research on entrepreneurial traits or cognitive styles in that competences represent observable and measurable knowledge, behaviour, attitudes and skills. Many competency taxonomies and models have been proposed by scholars, as frameworks organized into tiers of competences including descriptions of the activities and behaviours associated with that competency (Chouhan and Srivastava, IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(1): 14–22, 2014). However, no comprehensive set of entrepreneurial competences has emerged from these distinctions and no or little empirical evidence has been provided to validate these categorizations (Morris et al., Journal of Small Business Management 51(3): 352–369, 2013). This study compares and contrasts three traditional models (Morris et al., Journal of Small Business Management 51(3): 352–369, 2013; Bartram’s, Journal of Applied Psychology 90(6): 1185–1203, 2005, with the EU Entrepreneurship Competence Framework; Bacigalupo et al., EntreComp: the entrepreneurship competence framework, EUR 27939 EN, Publication Office of the European Union, 2016) previously empirically validated by the authors.
Giovanna Gianesini, Serena Cubico, Giuseppe Favretto, João Leitão

Heterogeneity and the Origin of the Founding Team: How the Concepts Relate and Affect Entrepreneurial Behavior

Although discovery and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities have often been attributed to an individual entrepreneur, scholars have increasingly recognized that entrepreneurship is a task performed by teams more than individuals and that the dynamics of entrepreneurial teams add new insights to entrepreneurship research (Klotz et al., Journal of Management 40: 1–30, 2013). It has also been suggested that the traditional way of performing the entrepreneurial process, is not the only way and other alternatives have been proposed to explain how individuals and teams perform this process. Findings of this work suggest differences among founding teams relative to their composition at the moment of creation of their ventures, and to whether they were formed before or after the entrepreneurial opportunity was discovered or created. Relationships are suggested between teams’ heterogeneity and the use of Effectuation and Causation as entrepreneurial behaviors by Founding Teams. Additionally, a Behavioral Classification of Founding Teams is proposed, based on the analysis of the behaviors reported by entrepreneurs from nine Founding Teams.
Gertie M. Agraz-Boeneker, Maria del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes

Entrepreneurial Aptitude and Gender-Related Stereotypes: A Research on Competences, Policies and Practices to Foster Entrepreneurial Culture in a Less Favoured Environment

The present work explores gender stereotypes and perception of entrepreneurship in the island of Sardinia, an Italian region characterized by unfavourable socio-economic conditions. Exploring the relation between entrepreneurial aptitude, competences, and social environment is of primary importance for developing entrepreneurship and understanding the evolution of regional human capital. Results of a questionnaire administered to a sample of aspiring, actual, and attempted Sardinian entrepreneurs, suggest that gender stereotypes and perceived inequalities endanger entrepreneurial networks, in spite of pre-existing feminine norms, and gender equality of education, aptitude, competences and regional opportunities. The findings suggest that a pervasive masculine discourse on entrepreneurship can hinder entrepreneurial perception and outcomes, and supplement the extant literature on the importance of a multiple culture perspective. It is suggested that policy-makers should pay attention to gender-related stereotypes and to entrepreneurial aptitude in order to convert detrimental regional and social networks into innovation systems. Practises for future investigations and recommendations to develop knowledge competences are also discussed.
Stefano Noventa, Serena Cubico, Maddalena Formicuzzi, Piermatteo Ardolino, Giuseppe Favretto, Francesco Ciabuschi, João Leitão

Co-leadership and Performance in Technology-Based Entrepreneurial Firms

The notion of co-leadership, defined as a structural arrangement where the formal responsibilities at the top of the company are attributed to multiple persons, is receiving increasing attention in recent years as one of the possible conceptualizations of the leadership “in plural form”. Our research aims at exploring the performance implications of co-leadership arrangements in the top management teams (TMTs) of technology based entrepreneurial firms, and at evaluating how such impact is likely to occur. The study is carried out on a sample of technology based entrepreneurial firms operating in Italy. Our study contributes mainly to the literature on co-leadership, by identifying different structural configurations of plural leadership and by shedding some light on the paths through which co-leadership arrangements have an impact on company performance.
Daniel Pittino, Francesca Visintin, Cristiana Compagno

Human Capital, Organizational Competences and Knowledge and Innovation Transfer: A Case Study Applied to the Mining Sector

This chapter aims to reveal that in certain conditions, especially in the context of restructuring processes, the articulation between organizational competences and individual competences, in terms of knowledge and innovation transfer, is not as important as pointed out by the literature on human capital. A case study is developed, presenting a situational analysis of the human capital’s organizational competences in a subsidiary owned by a multinational company operating in the mining sector in Portugal. The collection of primary data is carried out through interviews with the local directors, and complemented by secondary data from document analysis. The empirical evidence obtained indicates that although the competences and specific know-how of human capital in the subsidiary play a critical role for the success of the restructuring process, they do not increase the attractiveness of the parent-company’s tendency to reinforce knowledge and innovation transfer mechanisms, which could be justified by the lack of specific knowledge and (internal and external) communication culture; as well as the absence of a knowledge-sharing culture signalled by the Japanese parent-company.
Margarida Rodrigues, João Leitão

Specific Practices of Human Resource Management in the Creation and Development of Micro and Small Firms, Case Studies in Portuguese Firms

Practices of human resource management (HRM) have an impact on business efforts, making the acceptance of risks and innovation more pro-active. It therefore becomes necessary to understand and identify the HRM practices present in the creation of micro and small firms, as well as in their development, and characterise the needs of professional training and new competences. From a qualitative approach, in four micro and small firms, business-people and collaborators were interviewed to identify the specific HRM practices present at the beginning of activity in this type of organisation. Data treatment was through content analysis. Analysis of the organisation’s creation and development stages identified as critical HRM practices recruitment and selection and professional training. Performance assessment was identified at the time of firm development, increasing in formalization and complexity over time and as the number of collaborators grows. The formalization of rewards and bonuses is affected by increased firm size, at the two stages. At the moment of creating the firm, training actions in financial management and HRM are necessary. Organisational development requires technical competences in each area of business, and also continuity and deepening of the areas of overall management and human resource development.
Helder Antunes, António Nunes

Innovative Networks and Entrepreneurial Activities


The Selective Nature of Innovator Networks: From the Nascent to the Early Growth Phase of the Organizational Life Cycle

Earlier studies have shown that entrepreneurs play a key role in shaping regional development. Innovator networks where these entrepreneurs are members of, have been identified as one among many critical factors for their firms’ success. This paper intents to go one step further and analyses in how far differing characteristics of these networks lead to different firm performances along the early stages of the organizational life cycle (nascent stage, emergent stage, early growth stage). A sample of 149 innovative firms in Thuringia is analysed, using data from the commercial register and the German patent office. The results show that there is an inverted u-shaped relationship between the chances of a firm to survive and the connectivity of the network the firms are connected to but only in the later stage of the early organizational life cycle; while the structure of the ego-network never plays a role. A quite central position in the network shows-up to be unfavourable.
Uwe Cantner, Tina Wolf

The Decline of Innovation in the Antibiotics Industry and the Global Threat of Antibiotic Resistance: When Entrepreneurial Efforts are Not Enough

In this chapter we intend to analyze the worrisome case of the antibiotics industry, as the number of active firms, innovation output and profitability has constantly declined in the last years. With a focus on factors influencing the Entrepreneurial Orientation of firms in this industry, we analyze a number of challenges and environmental contingencies unique to antibiotic innovation and entrepreneurial activity, and discuss currently debated public policy interventions intended to reinvigorate the industry. In doing so we discuss the possibility of enhancing entrepreneurial orientation by acting on the performance side through targeted public interventions such as research grants and market entry rewards. This chapter contributes to innovation and entrepreneurship literature by presenting a unique case of a declining industry, the antibiotics field, which requires public intervention to revive and meet global societal needs to face the threat of antibiotic resistance. This industry-based case analysis presents a number of interesting implications for theory on Entrepreneurial Orientation that also allows the outlining of several avenues for future research.
Francesco Ciabuschi, Olof Lindahl

Entrepreneurship Success Factors in High and Low Early Stage Entrepreneurship Intensity Countries

The paper links data from the research project “Entrepreneurship Work in Organizations Requiring Leadership Development” (E-World) and information from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research about intensity of early stage entrepreneurship activities. Perceptions about features of entrepreneurs that enhance their success are influenced by evolution of economies from the resource-driven to the efficiency driven and to the innovation driven development stage. E-World results from 21 countries indicate stronger focus on opportunity seeking in these efficiency driven countries, where share of early-stage entrepreneurs in population is high. Opportunity seeking attributions of entrepreneurs in innovation-driven economies appeared to be stronger in countries, where early-stage entrepreneurship intensity is relatively low. Positive behavioural patterns of entrepreneurs are linked to the high early-stage entrepreneurship intensity both in efficiency-driven and innovation-driven economies and in all regions that were studied. That reflects expectations about entrepreneurship ethics in countries, where the early-stage entrepreneurship rate is high.
Ruth Alas, Tiit Elenurm, Elizabeth J. Rozell, Wesley A. Scroggins

Reasons for the Almost Complete Absence of High-Growth Ambition and Innovation Activity of Early-Stage Entrepreneurs in Brazil

This multiple case study contributes to identifying the reasons behind the almost complete absence of high-growth ambition and innovation activity of early-stage entrepreneurs in Brazil by investigating why they did not develop similar cognitive frameworks as the countries high-growth entrepreneurs. The understanding of the reasons can assist in the planning of programs and policies directed toward the creation of the necessary conditions to increase the number of early-stage entrepreneurs with high-growth ambition and hence promote the country’s economic growth. The reasons identified by the study were that high self-efficacy in the cognition/personality traits, knowledge (human capital) acquired from family and education complemented by task-related professional knowledge, and social capital that provided support from the professional network based on professional reputation and from family are the key factors in the cognitive framework of high-growth that explains their high-growth ambition and innovation activity are rare in Brazil. These factors are rare in Brazil, particularly the high self-efficacy and knowledge (human capital) acquired from family and education, because only those who belong to the country’s very small well-educated and empowered elite like the high-growth entrepreneurs possess them, whereas most early-stage entrepreneurs in Brazil that don’t belong to this elite did not acquire these key factors in their cognitive frameworks and so don’t have high-growth ambition and develop innovation activities.
Ronald Jean Degen, Nicholas Harkiolakis

Hindering Factors to Innovation: A Panel Data Analysis

The existence of companies developing innovative activities is a key factor for a competitive economy. Firms recognize the importance of performing innovative activities to raise their productivity and create an advantage towards their competitors, consolidate its position in the market and gain extra profits.
Innovation projects have a very uncertain outcome, thus exposing the firm to additional risks. When the economic environment is adverse, firms tend to reduce the amount spent in R&D and deleverage innovative activities. As many innovation projects succeed, others fail. Very often firms decide to abandon their innovative projects which were jeopardized for several obstacles.
The obstacles to innovation perceived by the firms will depend on their particular characteristics. The type of innovation being performed will naturally involve a different variety and extent of resources, moreover, the stage of the process will require the use of different resources with various intensities.
Using a panel of firms collected from the Portuguese CIS, we observe that the abandon of innovative activities fell during the crisis, contrarily to our first expectation. This finding reinforces the suspicions that firms continue their innovative actions in turbulent environments such as the crisis, going along with the Schumpeter Mark I hypothesis. A deep understanding about the effective the role of the different type of barriers firms face in their innovative process will allow the design of more accurate policy recommendations.
Joana Costa, Anabela Botelho, João Matias

Entrepreneurship for Change


Women Entrepreneurship in India: A Work-Life Balance Perspective

The purpose of this empirical study is to study women entrepreneurs’ psychological well being as supported by their family members in terms of support network so that effect of role overload and dependent care could be minimized. In any society, women receive relatively less support in order to fulfill their career aspirations. In a study on south Indian women entrepreneurs, researchers have examined the factors of work life balance for women entrepreneurs. These factors are termed as, role overload, dependent care, quality of health, time management and support network.
Due to some limitations of past studies, we felt a strong need to conduct another study on women entrepreneurs with an improved research design. Hence, this study is aimed at exploring the moderating impact of support network on the relationship of role overload and dependent care on quality of health and time management on a sample of north Indian women entrepreneurs. The data were collected from a sample of 130 women entrepreneurs located in Northern India. Results of moderating regression analysis showed the significant impact of support network on the relationship between predictor and criterion variables. Implications are discussed for women in Indian society.
Ajay K. Jain, Shalini Srivastava, Serena Cubico

The Pentagonal Problem and the Offshore Energy Sector in Portugal: Why Does It Matter?

The relationship between circular economy and offshore energy is a big step for “eco-innovation industries.” The use of renewables has become one of the main issues in the European economy. Therefore, the latest European agenda for 2020 set up policies in order to implement new business models based on sustainability, cooperation, and collaboration between industries, towards more environment efficiency. This article shows the importance of offshore energy in Portugal and its linkages to a circular economy based on technology and innovation where natural recourses comprise a business model based on natural innovation system which performs a new method of analyzing the economy. The methodology will be based on the pentagonal problem (resources gap, technical challenges, public challenges, climate change challenges, problem statement) focusing on the Portuguese organizations which use renewable energy. In order to analyze the offshore energy sector, a quantitative analysis (IO matrix) and a qualitative analysis (Porter’s model) are used. The use of renewable in the circular economy is expected to have an impact on three main areas: economic, environmental, and communal. The sharing of economic savings and collaborative consumption between organizations will contribute to redistribution markets and collaborative lifestyle platforms. The new challenge is to move towards a new business model based on eco-products, service providers, and energy recovery.
Ana Pego

Entrepreneurial Urban Revitalization

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in north-America were used during the last two decades as instruments capable of making communities more attractive for residents and visitors. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the application of this revitalization mechanism in downtown Stockton (California). The argument is that BIDs can provide an answer to many of the livability problems faced by city centers (Balsas, Planning Practice and Research 19(1):101–110, 2004). The key finding is that the proactive implementation of this urban revitalization mechanism can increase the livability of communities and their economic development opportunities in part because of its entrepreneurial perspective. The chapter closes with a series of recommendations for the successful implementation of an entrepreneurial urban revitalization strategy.
Carlos José Lopes Balsas

Unconventional Entrepreneurship and the Municipality: The Role of Passion and Competences

The purpose of this research is to investigate unconventional entrepreneurship and its relationship with the municipality. In particular, the research seeks to deepen the understanding of passion and competences in this special context. A case study method was utilised, focusing on the recreational–vehicle–equipped parking area in Monzambano (Italy), which is one of the best of its kind in Italy and Europe. Two critical findings emerge from the case study. First, the relationship between the entrepreneur and the municipality. Since the beginning (of the recreational–vehicle–equipped parking area), this relationship has provided business opportunities and threats at the same time; at a later stage of development, this relationship might lead to better results in terms of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) for the firm in primis and for the whole territory. The second critical finding relates to the role of passion and competences of the entrepreneur in a similar context.
Francesca Simeoni, Federico Testa

Assessing Entrepreneurial Profiles: A Study of Transversal Competence Gaps in Four European Countries

The need to develop entrepreneurial competences in young professionals has been a key priority in the agendas of policy makers and industry leaders for some time. This chapter offers several contributions to address this issue, drawing on the results of an in-depth study addressing the meaning, and the requirements, for entrepreneurial competences across four European contexts (Cyprus, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal). Building on the literature as well as on exploratory data from interviews with employers and young graduates, the chapter starts by identifying and characterizing ten transversal entrepreneurial competences that were identified at the forefront of requirements for economic and social development, as determinants for job creation, employability, social emancipation and personal fulfilment in labour contexts. Using this competence framework, a scale for the assessment of entrepreneurial competences has been developed and empirically validated. The chapter then presents the results of the application of the scale in the four countries addressed in the study. This investigation addressed a sample of 449 young professionals and 88 employers, and offers insights on two perspectives: (1) the competence profile of young professionals, from different educational backgrounds, and across distinct European contexts; (2) the entrepreneurial competence requirements reported by the employers of leading industries. These two perspectives are matched in order to infer the importance of the gap between the requirements of employers and the offer from the graduates. The chapter therefore offers a timely contribution for the understanding of the span of psychological and behavioural characteristics, along with management and technical knowledge and skills that need to be at the forefront of education and training, and aligned with societal development goals.
Marlene Amorim, Marta Ferreira Dias, Helena Silva, Diego Galego, Maria Sarmento, Carina Pimentel
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