World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship
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World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This comprehensive reference work, written by some of the most eminent academics in the field, contains entries on numerous aspects of entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 52: Territorial Entrepreneurship

Pierre-André Julien


Pierre-André Julien INTRODUCTION The study of entrepreneurship can be limited to the actions of the entrepreneurs during the start-up or transformation of their enterprises as have done a good number of studies on the subject. But, proceeding in this manner is to some extent to put ourselves in a positivist cause-and-effect approach. However, it cannot provide all of the answers such as those that would explain why there are localities or regions where a great number of enterprises are created that include long-lived innovative firms that grow rapidly, while others nearby with roughly the same resources and structures stagnate, and may even decline. In order to account for these territorial entrepreneurial differences, then, we must dig further by taking into account the entrepreneur’s background and his use of models that help orient his actions and get back to the traits theory already strongly criticized, when these are vague, not independent of the industrial sector in which the industry evolves, and change as the firm develops. We must also take into account at the second level the obstacles or advantages of the milieu and the networks that may or may not support the creation and transformation of enterprises. But, to better understand local or regional differences in entrepreneurship, we must go to a third level of analysis, involving the collective behaviour that the well-known economist Alfred Marshall at the close of the nineteenth century, called ‘the industrial atmosphere’ (Marshall, 1919), and which the specialists in entrepreneurship designate as the ‘entrepreneurial culture’,...

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