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The Hidden Enterprise Culture

Entrepreneurship in the Underground Economy Colin C. Williams, Professor of Public Policy, Management School, University of Sheffield, UK
Portraying how entrepreneurs often start out conducting some or all of their trade on an ‘off-the-books’ basis and how many continue to do so once they become established, this book provides the first detailed account of the vast and ubiquitous hidden enterprise culture existing in the interstices of western economies. Until now, the role of the underground economy in enterprise creation, entrepreneurship and small business development has been largely ignored despite its widespread prevalence and importance.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 520 3
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $64.00 Web: $51.20
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 794 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organisation Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic Crime and Corruption
  • Law - Academic
  • Corruption and Economic Crime
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Regional Studies
Portraying how entrepreneurs often start out conducting some or all of their trade on an ‘off-the-books’ basis and how many continue to do so once they become established, this book provides the first detailed account of the vast and ubiquitous hidden enterprise culture existing in the interstices of western economies. Until now, the role of the underground economy in enterprise creation, entrepreneurship and small business development has been largely ignored despite its widespread prevalence and importance.

In contrast to much of the previous literature that views the underground economy as low-paid, exploitative sweatshop work that should be deterred, this book takes a fresh, more positive perspective that considers the underground economy as a hidden enterprise culture. Colin C. Williams prescribes the means by which western governments can best harness this hidden culture of enterprise. He outlines detailed policy initiatives that seek to assist business ventures in setting up on a formal footing, and aim to encourage underground enterprises and entrepreneurs to make the transition into the realm of legitimacy.

This book provides a lucid guide as to how the hidden culture of enterprise can be brought into the open. As such, it will prove invaluable to a wide-ranging audience including scholars and students of business studies, entrepreneurship, management, economics and regional science.
‘This book will be an excellent primer for policy makers wishing to understand the nature and contradictory significance of the underground economy and needing to design suitably subtle policy responses to it.’
– Roger Lee, Growth and Change

‘The Hidden Enterprise Culture is a top pick for any economist or academician interested in this field, as well as for any underground entrepreneur who wants to make their enterprise lawful with the fewest possible legal complications.’
– Midwest Book Review

‘Strongly recommended for policy makers and students of business.’
– Global Business Review
Contents: 1. Introduction Part I: Entrepreneurship and the Underground Economy: The Missing Link 2. Studies of Entrepreneurship: The Omission of the Underground Economy 3. Studies of the Underground Economy: The Omission of Entrepreneurship Part II: The Extent and Nature of Underground Enterprise 4. Estimating the Size and Growth of Underground Enterprise 5. Portraits of Underground Enterprise 6. Explaining the Hidden Enterprise Culture Part III: What Should Be Done About the Hidden Enterprise Culture? Policy Options and their Implications 7. The Deterrence Option 8. The Laissez-Faire Option 9. The Enabling Option Part IV: Harnessing the Hidden Enterprise Culture 10. Helping Enterprises Start Up in a Legitimate Manner 11. Moving Underground Enterprise into the Mainstream: Supply-side Initiatives 12. Moving Underground Enterprise into the Mainstream: Demand-side Initiatives 13. Raising Awareness: Towards High Commitment Societies 14. Co-ordinating Government Thought and Action 15. Conclusions Bibliography Index