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A Theory of Local Entrepreneurship in the Knowledge Economy

Pierre-André Julien, Professor Emeritus in the Economics of SMEs, Institute of Research on Small Business, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada
This highly original book represents a departure from entrepreneurship literature that is largely limited to the study of entrepreneurs’ behaviour. Its dynamic presentation of holistic theory will prove an extremely absorbing read for those with an academic or professional interest in business and management, entrepreneurship and regional development.
Extent: 336 pp
Hardback Price: $154.00 Web: $138.60
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 388 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economics and Finance
  • Regional Economics
For too long, researchers have regarded local dynamism as the result of the actions of certain entrepreneurs. If this were the case, how could we explain the simultaneous presence of ‘winning’, stagnating or declining areas with very similar socioeconomic profiles within the same region? Departing from this restrictive and somewhat inadequate approach, Pierre-André Julien considers entrepreneurship as a collective behaviour specifically related to the dynamism of the milieu in which it develops.

The author introduces a complex, innovative theory of local entrepreneurship, demonstrating that the emergence of new ventures and the development of existing enterprises cannot be understood without taking into account certain factors: locale, social capital, networking and entrepreneurial culture within a given area are all crucial to entrepreneurial growth. Expanding upon this theory, the book demonstrates how entrepreneurship can be fostered in order to support collective development. Various forms of partnership among socioeconomic actors are then analysed to highlight the social conventions and entrepreneurial culture that connect and intensify the energies at the root of local dynamism.

This highly original book represents a departure from entrepreneurship literature that is largely limited to the study of entrepreneurs’ behaviour. Its dynamic presentation of holistic theory will prove an extremely absorbing read for those with an academic or professional interest in business and management, entrepreneurship and regional development.
‘The principal audience for this book seems to be deliberately and most certainly an academic one; that said, those practitioners from a business management or central/local government support-agency background might also find the text a useful resource. Intrinsically, those employed teaching and researching within the fields of entrepreneurship or regional economic development will find this publication an invaluable and indispensable reference tool. . . After an excellent, cohesive and informative introductory chapter, which places the book firmly in the field of regional entrepreneurship theory development, the reader is effortlessly prepared for the intellectually challenging read ahead. . . this book is well laid out and it is easy for the reader to pick up the thread of the argument, even after a lay-off. The endnotes after each chapter are useful and comprehensive, adding richness to the text through the additional information. The bibliography is as comprehensive as it is exhaustive. . . Professor Julien has given us a book that presents both an interesting and alternative perspective to the field of entrepreneurial cross-disciplinary research.’
– Paul J. Ferri, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research

‘. . . it is my view that this book gives a very important contribution for the understanding of development of local entrepreneurship, through its cross-disciplinary approach. I see the book is especially interesting from an entrepreneurship and a regional development perspective. . . this book should inspire research that takes a more holistic approach using different levels of analysis and applies it to economic development at a local/territorial level, when studying entrepreneurship.’
– Einar Lier Madsen, International Small Business Journal

‘The reader who is interested in entrepreneurship and/or regional development will find this book a welcome contribution to the field.’
– Rainer Harms, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Contents: Foreword by Anders Lundström Introduction Part I: Context: The Knowledge Economy and Different Dynamics 1. The Knowledge Economy: Uncertainty, Ambiguity and Potential 2. Differentiated Entrepreneurship: Regional and Local Disparities Part II: The Main Actors: Entrepreneurs, Organizations and Milieux – their Capacity to Develop Knowledge 3. Entrepreneurs 4. The Learning Organization: Information-gathering Strategies Used by Small Businesses 5. The Entrepreneurial Milieu: The Key to Creating a Distinct Local Identity Part III: The Factors: Information, Networks and Innovation – Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Entrepreneurship 6. Information: The First Necessary Condition for Reducing Uncertainty and Ambiguity 7. Networks: A Second Necessary Condition – The Sharing of Information Leading to Innovation 8. Innovation: A Sufficient Condition Part IV: The Functioning of Local Entrepreneurship: Dynamism through Contagion 9. Intelligence Networking: Developing a Dynamic Regional Fabric 10. Entrepreneurial Contagion and Knowledge Acquisition 11. Conclusion: Towards a New Theory of Entrepreneurship Bibliography Index