Cases in Technological Entrepreneurship

Cases in Technological Entrepreneurship

Converting Ideas into Value

Edited by Claudio Petti

The book examines from different perspectives a number of fundamental issues in the process of transforming technological innovations into profits. Key cases and field insights from distinguished contributors show the role and the practices of government bodies, universities, private investors and companies within the transformation of new ideas into value, in start-ups as well as in incumbents. The book takes a systemic view of technological entrepreneurship, positioning the topic at the interface between entrepreneurial and strategic perspectives within the emergent strategic entrepreneurship field.

Chapter 1: Entrepreneurship, Innovative Enterprise and Economic Development

William Lazonick

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational innovation, economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, organisational innovation


William Lazonick TWO WORLDS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP In recent years development agencies as well as politicians have called for policies that can encourage ‘entrepreneurship’ in the poorest parts of the world with a view to closing the ever-growing gap between regions that have and regions that have not (UNDP, 2004; World Bank, 2004; Utomi, 2006). The term ‘entrepreneurship’ is often used rather loosely to mean any instance in which an individual takes the initiative to do something new and constructive, whether in the sphere of business, government or civil society. Nevertheless, there appears to be a general consensus that the type of entrepreneurship that makes a direct contribution to economic development is that which entails the founding of a new business enterprise. New firm formation, it is thought, tends to allocate the economy’s resources to more productive uses than would otherwise have been the case. Yet at any point in time, the vast majority of the business sector output of an economy derives from the investment and employment of established firms. As in the late 1990s binge in the advanced economies, the founding of new firms may actually waste an economy’s productive resources rather than enlarge them. Under these circumstances, entrepreneurship may be ‘value-reducing’, and through the manipulation of the stock market even ‘value-extracting’ rather than ‘value-creating’. For entrepreneurship to contribute to economic development, a new firm must transform productive resources into valued outputs in ways that existing firms are unable or unwilling to do. Within the history of economic...

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