Managing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship

Managing Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship

Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen

The book uniquely combines an academic review of theoretical and empirical contributions with an analysis of the practical implications for engaging in and learning about venture creation. The authors concentrate on specific types of firms reliant upon advanced knowledge and show how a systemic perspective of entrepreneurship is required, involving design thinking, in order to capture the relationships between individual, venture and eco-system.

Chapter 4: Managing and developing the knowledge intensive entrepreneurship venture

Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Managing a KIE venture involves internal and external processes, and relates to how and why management processes can help develop the ideas into a real company. Managing is a type of ‘doing’, and this means that the manager and decision-makers need to think about a number of closely related topics that are discussed throughout this book: Opportunity exploration, conceptualization and exploitation. The use of internal and external resources. The dynamic nature of KIE ventures. These topics are closely related to the fourth proposition of this book: Significant differences exist between entrepreneurial management and general management. As one vital example, entrepreneurial management relies highly on the use of networks and emergence of access to resources. Therefore, management of KIE ventures requires a systemic understanding of processes and the relationship between individual and context in order to design and carry out this type of entrepreneurship. The small firm often has constrained resources, and difficulties in hiring enough people or accessing enough finances to expand. Therefore, one example of differences is that entrepreneurial management greatly relies on the use of networks to access external resources like people or international markets. Managing a KIE venture often involves tensions between what we may call ‘exploration’ and ‘exploitation’. Therefore, going back to the classical distinction introduced by March (1991), one way of conceptualizing the problems facing the management of KIE ventures is the ‘exploration’ versus ‘exploitation’ trade-off. Exploration means trying out new directions while exploitation means developing for the market.

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