The Interaction between Technology, Progress and Economic Growth
Edited by Terrence E. Brown and Jan Ulijn
Chapter 8: Culture's role in entrepreneurship: self-employment out of dissatisfaction
8. Culture’s role in entrepreneurship: self-employment out of dissatisfaction Geert Hofstede, Niels G. Noorderhaven, A. Roy Thurik, Lorraine M. Uhlaner, Alexander R.M. Wennekers and Ralph E. Wildeman 1. INTRODUCTION Importance of Entrepreneurship In the late twentieth century, entrepreneurship re-emerged as a key agenda item of economic policy-makers across Europe, both for speciﬁc nations as well as for the European Union as a whole (Brock and Evans, 1989; Carree and Thurik, 2003; European Commission, 1999; EZ, 1999; OECD, 1998a). Moderate economic growth coupled with persistently high levels of unemployment-stimulated expectations of entrepreneurship’s potential as a source of job creation and economic growth (Acs, 1992; Audretsch and Thurik, 2000; Thurik, 1996). This has not always been the case. For instance, in the early and mid-twentieth century – in fact until the 1980s – a focus on entrepreneurship was absent from the European economic policy agenda. The exploitation of economies of scale and scope was thought to be at the heart of modern economies (Teece, 1993). Audretsch and Thurik (2001) characterize this period as one where stability, continuity and homogeneity were the cornerstones and thus label it the ‘managed economy’. Small businesses were considered to be a vanishing breed. The late twentieth century witnessed massive downsizing and restructuring of many large ﬁrms as well as the decline of the centrally led economies in Central and Eastern Europe built on certainty and the virtues of scale. By the 1980s evidence mounted to demonstrate that this move away from large ﬁrms towards small, predominantly young ﬁrms...
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