Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Culture

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Culture

The Interaction between Technology, Progress and Economic Growth

Edited by Terrence E. Brown and Jan Ulijn

Any technological advance, innovation or economic growth created by an organization is dependent on how that organization’s culture and environment fosters or inhibits these developments. This process is further complicated by the global nature of economic activity and differences in national cultures due to country-specific histories, experiences, traditions and rules. The distinguished authors in this important new book aim to study the nature of organizational innovation and change by examining the complex interplay between entrepreneurship, innovation and culture.

Chapter 9: Towards cooperation between European start-ups: the position of the French, Dutch and German entrepreneurial and innovative engineer

Jan Ulijn and Alain Fayolle

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


Jan Ulijn and Alain Fayolle 1. INTRODUCTION People who want to start their own business often try to survive or die again on their own. The very fact is that ‘others’, apart from family, friends and fools who invest in their venture, are quickly seen as probable competitors, who want to steal the idea, prevent start-ups from cooperation with partners. Setting up a personal network might even cause more risk, since one has to share ideas for technological development of the idea or look for a market for it. The consequence is that within five years most new start-ups are already out of business (OECD, 1998). The key would be cooperation with others, but with whom and to what extent? Since most of the engineers know that to develop an innovation, they might need anything up to a whole R&D laboratory to help, they might be less reluctant to cooperate than others. On the other hand, they might forget to look for a market or cooperate with a potential customer to design the product, for instance in the ICT-sector (see van Luxemburg, Ulijn and Amare, 2002), because of a technology push syndrome. Authors, such as Birley (1985) and Aldrich and Zimmer (1986) have not failed during the last 10 years to develop the idea of, and study the effect of, networking and strategic alliancing between start-ups, entrepreneurship as teamwork and at least a shared concept for starters who have the same objective in mind. University incubators, such as...

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