Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Opportunities
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Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Reopening the Debate

Edited by Catherine Léger-Jarniou and Silke Tegtmeier

With a wide-ranging set of contributions, this book provides a compilation of cutting-edge original research in the field of entrepreneurial opportunities. The book reopens the subject from diverse perspectives focusing on theories and approaches to entrepreneurial opportunities. The book has been complemented by an outstanding Delphi panel of six leading scholars of the field: Lowell Busenitz, Dimo Dimov, James O. Fiet, Denis Grégoire, Jeff McMullen and Mike Wright. This carefully edited selection of current and topical contributions will be of immense value to students, researchers and scholars interested in the field of entrepreneurial opportunities.
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Chapter 2: Starting a business venture rationally or naturally – exploiting an opportunity in space or developing a place

Björn Bjerke and Johan Gaddefors


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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