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The emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems: A complex adaptive systems approach

Philip T. Roundy, Mike Bradshaw and Beverly K. Brockman

Journal of Business Research, 2018, vol. 86, issue C, 1-10

Abstract: Entrepreneurial ecosystems are receiving heightened attention from scholars and practitioners. Studies have focused on isolating entrepreneurial ecosystems' components; however, prior research has not offered a theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems that embraces their complexity. To address this omission in ecosystems research, we contend that entrepreneurial ecosystems can be more fully understood if examined through the lens of complexity science and conceptualized as complex adaptive systems. We contribute to entrepreneurship research by developing a complexity-based definition of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Building on this definition, we connect the research on entrepreneur- and venture-level complexity to work on entrepreneurial ecosystems and propose three related forces that will influence entrepreneurial ecosystem emergence: intentionality of entrepreneurs, coherence of entrepreneurial activities, and injections of resources. Beyond developing theory, we describe how scholars can examine entrepreneurial ecosystems as complex systems using qualitative comparative analysis, agent-based modeling, and interpretivist methods. Our theorizing also has implications for entrepreneurs and policymakers.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial ecosystems; Startup communities; New venture creation; Complexity; Systems theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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