This paper draws on case and interview material, from research with entrepreneurs in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) to examine the process of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial learning in SMEs. The cases have been drawn from different sectors including services, manufacturing and technology‐based sectors such as hydraulics, and software development. This paper reviews the contribution of organisational learning theories, which, it is argued, have been developed for large firms rather than SMEs. More appropriate theories are examined from fields that accepted the impact of uncertainty and dynamics in decision making, such as Schumpeterian dynamic approaches to learning and development. Case study evidence is presented on the nature of entrepreneurial learning in growth SMEs and compared with theories in the literature.
The Learning Organization – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1998
Keywords: Case studies; Entrepreneurs; Learning; Networks; Small firms
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