Organizational Forms and National Institutions
Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Damian Grimshaw
Chapter 8: Managing Competencies within Entrepreneurial Technologies: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Software Firms in Germany and the UK
8. Managing competencies within entrepreneurial technologies: a comparative institutional analysis of software ﬁrms in Germany and the UK Steven Casper and Sigurt Vitols INTRODUCTION In recent years the US economy has developed an institutional environment fostering the widespread use of entrepreneurial business models to support clusters of dynamic small ﬁrms specializing in new technologies. How do diﬀerences in national business system frameworks inﬂuence the development of new technology ﬁrms? Do business strategies and related organizational structures developed by European ﬁrms simply mimic those found in the USA, or have European ﬁrms found unique organizational formulas for translating technology investments into commercial enterprises? From a theoretical perspective, is comparative institutional theory helpful in examining the adaptation of new organizational forms across diﬀerent economies? This chapter develops and empirically tests a theoretical framework to evaluate the impact of national institutional frameworks on the organization and innovation strategy of entrepreneurial technology ﬁrms in the software industry. It then develops and tests a number of empirical hypotheses linking the orientation of national institutional frameworks to the successful governance of organizational dilemmas facing diﬀerent types of entrepreneurial ﬁrms in the UK and Germany. Using a cluster analysis, the chapter empirically demonstrates the existence of distinct types of entrepreneurial ﬁrms within the software industry, and then shows that national patterns of specialization across these ﬁrm types are inﬂuenced by the orientation of national institutional frameworks. We draw on recent theoretical literature in the ﬁeld of ‘varieties of capitalism’ (Casper et al....
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