Outcomes and Perspectives
Chapter 5: The New Paradigm of Multipolar Competition and its Implications for Entrepreneurship Research in Europe
1 Leo Paul Dana, Mark B. Bajramovic, and Richard W. Wright INTRODUCTION The word ‘entrepreneurship’ refers to the economic undertaking of entrepreneurs. This is based on the classical definition of the word, which can be traced to the German unternehmung (literally: undertaking) and to the French entreprendre (literally: between taking). The agents of entrepreneurship are entrepreneurs (from the French entrepreneurs, literally: between takers). The flagships of entrepreneurship are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and these are gaining importance across Europe. The environment for business in the New Europe is changing dramatically. Not long ago, competition in international markets was the realm of large companies, while entrepreneurs typically operated smaller businesses that remained local or regional in scope. However, the removal of governmentimposed barriers that segregated and protected domestic markets, and recent technological advances in manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications, allow even the smallest firms access to customers, suppliers and collaborators across Europe. The New Europe is characterised by two overarching trends: (1) the reduced importance of the nation-state as the relevant unit around which international business activity is organised and conducted; and (2) the diminishing importance of the stand-alone firm as the principal unit of business competition. While traditional entrepreneurship research focused on individuals within a given country, future research about entrepreneurship in Europe will increasingly need to address issues of internationalisation. In addition, while research approaches to internationalisation focused traditionally on a uni-polar and hierarchical distribution of power and control, we suggest that future research should reflect the new reality...
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