, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 317-332

’E’ entrepreneurial SMEs: An Irish study of micro and macro influences

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Abstract

Internet-based technologies are strategically guiding the organisation of tradeable services through the development of flexible organisational structures at national and international level. Specifically for knowledge intensive business services, tasks can be mediated via technology rather than by direct physical engagement, providing enterprises with the opportunity for extensive market coverage. Many academic and political ideals thus assume that entrepreneurs have the ability to intuitively recognise technologically innovative opportunities and have the confidence to act on them. The main aim of the paper is to present the findings of a recent empirical study of Irish (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) knowledge-intensive service sector firms and shed some light on recent thinking in relation to ‘e’ entrepreneurial micro and macro-level influences. The micro-level findings reveal a relatively high level of ‘e’ entrepreneurial orientation and motivation. However, from a macro-level perspective, the overall conclusion is that firms in both regions of Ireland could benefit from a system that cultivates a more inclusive, networked and balanced regional innovation system, to foster technology-innovation led enterprise.