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Discovering the collective entrepreneurial opportunities through spatial relationships

Discovering the collective entrepreneurial opportunities through spatial relationships Even if in a traditional perspective the discovery and the exploitation of opportunities are associated to the entrepreneur’s capabilities, a relational perspective is required to better analyze the phenomenon of starting up a new venture. The growing attention to interaction with the external environment has been emerging as a precondition of the entrepreneurial processes as it creates the knowledge and the experience necessary to perceive the opportunity. The entrepreneurial opportunities are created through joint acts with others through social relationships. Shifting the attention from social to business relationships, the main aim of this paper is to investigate the discovery and the exploitation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities in starting up new business. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of relational proximity in the entrepreneurial journey considered as an emergent process of transforming potentiality into actuality.Design/methodology/approachThe paper applied a qualitative methodology (Dubois and Araujo, 2004) and a case study approach (Barrat et al., 2011). The case concerns the dyadic spin-off relationship between the innovative start up, ShapeMode (the generated firm), and the Milan FabLab (the generating firm) located in Lombardy Region (Italy).FindingsThe emerging of collective entrepreneurial opportunities could be analyzed at two levels: the first one concerns the dyadic spin-off relationship, while the second one is founded on the business relationships that the start-up can activate with the business partners of the generating firm. The collective entrepreneurial opportunities are positive influenced by jointness of the actors and their co-evolution, founded on the shared values and goals.Research limitations/implicationsAlthough the case study approach allowed the researcher to gain detailed information about the spin-off relationship, this effort does not measure the performance outcomes of the relationships and actions that were taken to improve the competitiveness of the start-up. Future studies would benefit from a large-scale questionnaire given to the members of the start-up and to the actors of its Entrepreneurial Network, so to analyze all of its performance implications for the start-up and the network as a whole. In addition, it could be of interest for future research to investigate the effects of collective entrepreneurial opportunities in order to examine this topic more deeply.Practical implicationsFrom a managerial point of view, even if the growing number of start-ups has been associated to a temporary phenomenon, the development of new ventures is now consolidated. A new managerial approach is required to promote the birth and the growth of the start-ups. The development of a new venture requires to shift the attention from the collection of financial resources to the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities generated by interconnected business relationships. In this way a relevant attention should be recognized to the new role of organizations that can be considered as facilitators of business relationships, such as the FabLab. This paper sheds light on the relevance of the strategic networking that sustains the generation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities. The networking involves actors that belong to different geographic area and different countries but that are focused on the same business dream related to the exploitation of potentialities of digital fabrication. The policymakers should recognize the role of the FabLab as facilitator of knowledge diffusion concerning digital fabrication.Originality/valueThe entrepreneurial opportunities such as the starting up of a new business and its evolution, are enacted, discovered and exploited through interconnected business relationships. In particular the main entrepreneurial opportunities are generated by the activation of business relationships with new business actors. Focusing on the dyadic spin-off relationship, the exploitation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities depends on the sharing of third actors. The business partners of the generating actor (FabLab) became business partners of the generated actor (start-up). The evolution of the generating firm (FabLab) influenced the birth and the evolution of the generated firms (start-up). The dyadic relationship allows the generated firm to discover entrepreneurial opportunities and to exploit them, accessing to the business partners of the generating firm. The effectiveness of the spin-off relationship sustains the replication of the model of new firm generation, that could benefit from the relationships of the two actors of the dyad. Moreover the strong relationships are founded on relational proximity that is characterized by the sharing of values, vision and business dreams. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png IMP Journal Emerald Publishing

Discovering the collective entrepreneurial opportunities through spatial relationships

IMP Journal , Volume 12 (2): 20 – Aug 13, 2018

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2059-1403
DOI
10.1108/imp-05-2017-0033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Even if in a traditional perspective the discovery and the exploitation of opportunities are associated to the entrepreneur’s capabilities, a relational perspective is required to better analyze the phenomenon of starting up a new venture. The growing attention to interaction with the external environment has been emerging as a precondition of the entrepreneurial processes as it creates the knowledge and the experience necessary to perceive the opportunity. The entrepreneurial opportunities are created through joint acts with others through social relationships. Shifting the attention from social to business relationships, the main aim of this paper is to investigate the discovery and the exploitation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities in starting up new business. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of relational proximity in the entrepreneurial journey considered as an emergent process of transforming potentiality into actuality.Design/methodology/approachThe paper applied a qualitative methodology (Dubois and Araujo, 2004) and a case study approach (Barrat et al., 2011). The case concerns the dyadic spin-off relationship between the innovative start up, ShapeMode (the generated firm), and the Milan FabLab (the generating firm) located in Lombardy Region (Italy).FindingsThe emerging of collective entrepreneurial opportunities could be analyzed at two levels: the first one concerns the dyadic spin-off relationship, while the second one is founded on the business relationships that the start-up can activate with the business partners of the generating firm. The collective entrepreneurial opportunities are positive influenced by jointness of the actors and their co-evolution, founded on the shared values and goals.Research limitations/implicationsAlthough the case study approach allowed the researcher to gain detailed information about the spin-off relationship, this effort does not measure the performance outcomes of the relationships and actions that were taken to improve the competitiveness of the start-up. Future studies would benefit from a large-scale questionnaire given to the members of the start-up and to the actors of its Entrepreneurial Network, so to analyze all of its performance implications for the start-up and the network as a whole. In addition, it could be of interest for future research to investigate the effects of collective entrepreneurial opportunities in order to examine this topic more deeply.Practical implicationsFrom a managerial point of view, even if the growing number of start-ups has been associated to a temporary phenomenon, the development of new ventures is now consolidated. A new managerial approach is required to promote the birth and the growth of the start-ups. The development of a new venture requires to shift the attention from the collection of financial resources to the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities generated by interconnected business relationships. In this way a relevant attention should be recognized to the new role of organizations that can be considered as facilitators of business relationships, such as the FabLab. This paper sheds light on the relevance of the strategic networking that sustains the generation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities. The networking involves actors that belong to different geographic area and different countries but that are focused on the same business dream related to the exploitation of potentialities of digital fabrication. The policymakers should recognize the role of the FabLab as facilitator of knowledge diffusion concerning digital fabrication.Originality/valueThe entrepreneurial opportunities such as the starting up of a new business and its evolution, are enacted, discovered and exploited through interconnected business relationships. In particular the main entrepreneurial opportunities are generated by the activation of business relationships with new business actors. Focusing on the dyadic spin-off relationship, the exploitation of collective entrepreneurial opportunities depends on the sharing of third actors. The business partners of the generating actor (FabLab) became business partners of the generated actor (start-up). The evolution of the generating firm (FabLab) influenced the birth and the evolution of the generated firms (start-up). The dyadic relationship allows the generated firm to discover entrepreneurial opportunities and to exploit them, accessing to the business partners of the generating firm. The effectiveness of the spin-off relationship sustains the replication of the model of new firm generation, that could benefit from the relationships of the two actors of the dyad. Moreover the strong relationships are founded on relational proximity that is characterized by the sharing of values, vision and business dreams.

Journal

IMP JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 13, 2018

Keywords: Relational proximity; Collective entrepreneurial opportunities; Digital fabrication; Entrepreneurial network; Spatial relationships

References