Four Italian Cases
Chapter 4: Firm-Level Entrepreneurship as a Framework of Analysis
F. G. Alberti and S. Sciascia This chapter aims at developing a framework of analysis for firm-level entrepreneurship, to be subsequently adopted in the rest of the book in order to interpret the entrepreneurial growth of district firms. On the basis of previous studies on entrepreneurship, we present a set of areas of inquiry addressed to the analysis of entrepreneurial growth in industrial districts. The main determinants of firm-level entrepreneurship will be identified within several domains that can explain the phenomenon. 4.1. DIRECTIONS OF FIRM-LEVEL ENTREPRENEURSHIP Firm-level entrepreneurship occurs when an entrepreneurial opportunity is recognised and exploited within an existing company (Morris and Kuratko, 2002). Recent theorising within the field of entrepreneurship has increasingly revolved around the concept of entrepreneurial opportunity. Entrepreneurial opportunities can be defined as those situations in which new products, services, raw materials, and organising methods can be introduced and sold at greater than their cost of production (Casson, 1982; Schumpeter, 1934; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000; Venkataraman, 1997). As shown in Figure 4.1, there are three main directions of firm-level entrepreneurship. They are named on the basis of the nature of the entrepreneurial opportunity identified and exploited: 1. 2. 3. the introduction of a new product or service; the adoption of new processes (in terms of purchasing, production, selling or organising); the entrance in a new market. 67 68 Industrial districts and firm-level entrepreneurship We underline that firm-level entrepreneurship can be represented by more than one of the above listed points. This means that, for example, a...
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