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Edited by Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori
Chapter 6: Risk perception and ingenuity in entrepreneurship in Japan
Entrepreneurs must be ingenious in coping with the difficulties inherent in starting a new business (Carland et al., 1984). This is especially so when the new business is in technology-intensive industries where previously non-existing companies must not only legitimate themselves and their products, but also the underlying technology from which they spring (Aldrich and Fiol, 1994). Although entrepreneurship is seen as a universal human activity, many scholars recognize that different environments will have differential impacts on these activities (Thomas and Mueller, 2000; Weber and Hsee, 1998). Scholars have indicated that differences in institutional environments do affect entrepreneurial activities (Clausen, 2011; De Clerq and Arenius, 2006) and some of these differences have been examined in the context of entrepreneurship in Japan (Borton, 1992; Bracker and Methé, 1994; Methé and Bracker, 1994; Methé, 2006a; Whittaker et al., 2009). Although the Japanese economy is dominated by small-to medium-sized businesses, both in numbers and employment (Ballon and Honda, 2000), the institutional environment for starting a business in Japan, especially a high technology business, has been consistently rated as one of the most difficult (Feigenbaum and Brunner, 2002; Bosma and Harding, 2007; Kelly et al., 2011). The fostering of high technology start-ups is particularly important in that these types of organizational forms tend to be more likely to generate radical innovations (Methé et al., 1996) and are also seen as a primary engine of growth and renewal in economies.
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