Handbook of Research On Entrepreneurship

Handbook of Research On Entrepreneurship

What We Know and What We Need to Know

Elgar original reference

Edited by Alain Fayolle

This indispensable Handbook offers a fresh look at entrepreneurship research, addressing what we already know, and what we still need to know, in the field. Over the course of 17 chapters, a collaboration of 24 highly-regarded researchers, experts in their fields, provide an insightful new perspective on the future of the study of entrepreneurship. They show that there is a need to redesign research in the field – enacting entrepreneurship out of the box – and consider the history of entrepreneurship whilst developing the future course for research. They also underline the importance of developing research at the crossroads of different fields and the need to explore new domains and/or revisit existing ones from differing perspectives. Finally, they express a desire for more continuity in research, developing knowledge around key concepts and insightful domains.

Chapter 16: Illegal rural enterprise

Gerard McElwee, Robert Smith and Peter Somerville

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


This chapter reports on an ongoing study into illegal and illicit forms of enterprise we have encountered in rural areas during our research into rural entrepreneurship. Where one finds entrepreneurial activity in a given society, inevitably, there will also be evidence of related criminal activity. Since the seminal work of William Baumol (1990) in relation to destructive and unproductive entrepreneurship and in particular his discussion on the moral orientation of entrepreneurial activity, consideration of moral and ethical dimensions of entrepreneurship is increasing (see Anderson and Smith, 2007). In addition, consideration of criminal entrepreneurship is also increasing (Venkatesh, 2002; Frith and McElwee 2008, 2009; Gottschalk, 2009; Smith, 2009; Gottschalk, 2010a, 2010b; Smith, 2011). Crime is viewed as a predominantly urban problem and the academic literature of entrepreneurship and crime has been criticized as being urbancentric. Entrepreneurship and crime manifest themselves differently in rural areas. Therefore, in this chapter we investigate the concept of 'Illegal Rural Enterprise' (IRE) and discuss why this neologism makes an important and necessary contribution to the literature of both entrepreneurship and criminology. To do this we present a review of the literature, articulating what we know and identifying gaps in the literature as well as detailing practical/policy implications, thus answering the all-important organizing question of - what do we need to know?

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