In this article we maintain that the cultural evolution processes of small firms are strongly influenced by the type of relationships that they establish with the economic environment. In the first part of the article, the main points of the discussion are set forth. Here, the theoretical debate is presented and the existing relations between the entrepreneurial culture and the interaction of firms with their economic environment is analyzed. In the second part of the article, the methodologies adopted for the statistical analysis are explained, and the results of the empirical analysis are presented. Finally, in the third part the implications for practitioners, industrial policies, and future directions in research are discussed. The importance of openness to change in the entrepreneurial culture is a basic assumption in this study. It is well known that in small and medium firms, entrepreneurs often demonstrate “a resistance to change” that limits the firm’s competitiveness. In some observed territorial and industrial contexts this resistance to change is determined by a cultural entrepreneurial homogeneity. This homogeneity is a result of the similarity of the social, educational, and entrepreneurial experiences of the subjects observed. Indeed, the entrepreneurs studied had, for generations, received the same education, lived in the same area, and come from the same social setting. This entrepreneurial culture is typified by distrust of innovation and discontinuity, which leads these entrepreneurs to favor already proven solutions and initiate the behaviors of others, rather than take innovative actions. Principal component analysis has been used to identify the influences that various factors, within and external to the firm, have in the forming of an entrepreneurial culture and thus on the openness of entrepreneurs and firms to learning. In the sample, a trade-off emerged between tendencies to homologous behaviors and the spirit of initiative. Through cluster analysis we identified categories of entrepreneurs with a different propensity to innovation regarding established firm routines. “Learning entrepreneurs” belong mainly to industries that serve the final consumer while “bounded entrepreneurs” tend to specialize in commodities more often for export. The implications of our results might interest new entrepreneurs who can include this element when analyzing the viability of new ventures. Small, already operational firms, can evaluate opportunities arising from export processes or might adjust their position on the production filie´re to be closer to the final market. This empirical analysis should be reapplied to firms in areas with different environmental characteristics or to production filie´res where the relationship between customer and supplier is different, as for example in high-tech-industries, so as to verify whether the intensity of the relations with the market differs according to external factors or the technological intensity of the industries examined

"The network between the economic environment and the entrepreneurial culture in small firms",

Passaro, Renato
2001

Abstract

In this article we maintain that the cultural evolution processes of small firms are strongly influenced by the type of relationships that they establish with the economic environment. In the first part of the article, the main points of the discussion are set forth. Here, the theoretical debate is presented and the existing relations between the entrepreneurial culture and the interaction of firms with their economic environment is analyzed. In the second part of the article, the methodologies adopted for the statistical analysis are explained, and the results of the empirical analysis are presented. Finally, in the third part the implications for practitioners, industrial policies, and future directions in research are discussed. The importance of openness to change in the entrepreneurial culture is a basic assumption in this study. It is well known that in small and medium firms, entrepreneurs often demonstrate “a resistance to change” that limits the firm’s competitiveness. In some observed territorial and industrial contexts this resistance to change is determined by a cultural entrepreneurial homogeneity. This homogeneity is a result of the similarity of the social, educational, and entrepreneurial experiences of the subjects observed. Indeed, the entrepreneurs studied had, for generations, received the same education, lived in the same area, and come from the same social setting. This entrepreneurial culture is typified by distrust of innovation and discontinuity, which leads these entrepreneurs to favor already proven solutions and initiate the behaviors of others, rather than take innovative actions. Principal component analysis has been used to identify the influences that various factors, within and external to the firm, have in the forming of an entrepreneurial culture and thus on the openness of entrepreneurs and firms to learning. In the sample, a trade-off emerged between tendencies to homologous behaviors and the spirit of initiative. Through cluster analysis we identified categories of entrepreneurs with a different propensity to innovation regarding established firm routines. “Learning entrepreneurs” belong mainly to industries that serve the final consumer while “bounded entrepreneurs” tend to specialize in commodities more often for export. The implications of our results might interest new entrepreneurs who can include this element when analyzing the viability of new ventures. Small, already operational firms, can evaluate opportunities arising from export processes or might adjust their position on the production filie´re to be closer to the final market. This empirical analysis should be reapplied to firms in areas with different environmental characteristics or to production filie´res where the relationship between customer and supplier is different, as for example in high-tech-industries, so as to verify whether the intensity of the relations with the market differs according to external factors or the technological intensity of the industries examined
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/21325
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