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The Elgar Companion to Social Economics

The Elgar Companion to Social Economics

Elgar original reference

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

As this comprehensive Companion demonstrates, social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key role that values play in the economy and in economic life. Social economics treats the economy and economics as being embedded in the larger web of social and ethical relationships. It also regards economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. The Elgar Companion to Social Economics brings together the leading contributors in the field to elucidate a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics. In so doing the contributors also map the likely trends and directions of future research. This Companion will undoubtedly become a leading reference source and guide to social economics for many years to come.

Chapter 19: Knowledge Spillover Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Large and Small Firms

David B. Audretsch and Max Keilbach

Subjects: economics and finance, methodology of economics, public sector economics, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


19 Knowledge spillover entrepreneurship and innovation in large and small firms David B. Audretsch and Max Keilbach 1. Introduction Where do new opportunities come from and what is the response of decision-makers when confronted by such new opportunities? The disparate approaches pursued to answer these questions distinguish the literature on entrepreneurship from that on firm innovation. The model of the knowledge production function of the firm has assumed the firm to be exogenous, while opportunities are endogenously created through purposeful investments in the creation of new knowledge, such as expenditures on research and development and augmentation of human capital. By contrast, in the entrepreneurship literature the opportunities are generally viewed as exogenous but the start-up of the new firm is endogeneous to characteristics specific to the individual. The focus of the entrepreneurship literature in general, and entrepreneurship theory in particular, has been on the cognitive process by which individuals recognize entrepreneurial opportunities and then decide to attempt to actualize them through the process of starting a new business or organization. This approach has typically taken the opportunities as given and focused instead on differences across individual-specific characteristics, traits and conditions to explain variations in entrepreneurial behavior. The purpose of this chapter is to reconcile these two disparate literatures on entrepreneurship and firm strategy. We do this by considering entrepreneurship to be endogenous – not just to differences in individual characteristics, but rather to differences in the context in which a given individual, with an endowment of...

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