Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Culture
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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.
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Chapter 8: Culture's role in entrepreneurship: self-employment out of dissatisfaction

Geert Hofstede, Niels G. Noorderhaven, A. Roy Thurik, Lorraine M. Uhlaner, Alexander R.M. Wennekers and Ralph E. Wildeman

Extract

8. Culture’s role in entrepreneurship: self-employment out of dissatisfaction Geert Hofstede, Niels G. Noorderhaven, A. Roy Thurik, Lorraine M. Uhlaner, Alexander R.M. Wennekers and Ralph E. Wildeman 1. INTRODUCTION Importance of Entrepreneurship In the late twentieth century, entrepreneurship re-emerged as a key agenda item of economic policy-makers across Europe, both for specific nations as well as for the European Union as a whole (Brock and Evans, 1989; Carree and Thurik, 2003; European Commission, 1999; EZ, 1999; OECD, 1998a). Moderate economic growth coupled with persistently high levels of unemployment-stimulated expectations of entrepreneurship’s potential as a source of job creation and economic growth (Acs, 1992; Audretsch and Thurik, 2000; Thurik, 1996). This has not always been the case. For instance, in the early and mid-twentieth century – in fact until the 1980s – a focus on entrepreneurship was absent from the European economic policy agenda. The exploitation of economies of scale and scope was thought to be at the heart of modern economies (Teece, 1993). Audretsch and Thurik (2001) characterize this period as one where stability, continuity and homogeneity were the cornerstones and thus label it the ‘managed economy’. Small businesses were considered to be a vanishing breed. The late twentieth century witnessed massive downsizing and restructuring of many large firms as well as the decline of the centrally led economies in Central and Eastern Europe built on certainty and the virtues of scale. By the 1980s evidence mounted to demonstrate that this move away from large firms towards small, predominantly young firms...

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