Reopening the Debate
Edited by Catherine Léger-Jarniou and Silke Tegtmeier
Chapter 2: Starting a business venture rationally or naturally – exploiting an opportunity in space or developing a place
This chapter develops a theoretical framework for understanding how entrepreneurship develops in space and place. It takes an eclectic view on entrepreneurship and emphasizes its interactive dependence with different types of context. First, a distinction between a narrow and a broad view of entrepreneurship is introduced. In the narrow view, entrepreneurship is seen as an economic phenomenon satisfying demands in different markets, whilst, in the broad view, entrepreneurship belongs to the whole society, not only to its economy, and is a question of creating something new. Second, the chapter argues for an emerging, bricoleurial way of understanding the entrepreneurial process, rather than the rational, analytically based approach so common in entrepreneurship theory. Third, the chapter presents space and place as theoretical categories; ‘space’ is understood as an economic evaluation of a situation based on its capacity for profit, and ‘place’ is seen as a societal situation based on meaning. Finally, the theoretical framework based on the three distinctions is illustrated by two cases. To conclude, a narrow, goal-rational approach to entrepreneurial venturing works well with context understood as space, whilst a broader, natural understanding of entrepreneurship will include an interactive relation with place.
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