Advertisement

Hierarchical and relational governance and the life cycle of entrepreneurial ecosystems

  • Alessandra Colombelli
  • Emilio Paolucci
  • Elisa Ughetto
Article

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the way the evolution of entrepreneurial ecosystems is shaped by different governance designs. We propose a theoretical framework in which we discuss what type of governance design would best fit the needs of an entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout its evolution. We also provide argumentations concerning the mechanisms that may explain the evolution through the different governance configurations. The conceptualization of a new framework has allowed us to specify a set of propositions, which we have tested on one single empirical setting, represented by Turin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The paper introduces some important policy implications. It highlights the need for a more complex relational form of governance for the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which could be obtained by means of a systemic and participative approach rooted in shared cooperative norms and informal routines.

Keywords

Governance Entrepreneurial ecosystem Local stakeholders 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to all of the interviewees for having given up their time to talk to us. We wish in particular to thank Valentino Castellani and Anna Prat (Torino Strategica) for having shared their profound knowledge of the history and strategy of Turin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with us. We are also grateful to Silvio Aime (University of Turin), Marco Cantamessa (I3P), Andrea Casalegno (Top-IX), Barbara Graffino (YES4TO), Giancarlo Rocchietti, Marco Lingua, and Silvano Bernardi (Club degli Investitori), Stefano Molino (Innogest), Nicoletta Marchiandi (Camera di Commercio di Torino). We are indebted to the Fondazione Human Plus for having provided us with the questionnaire data. The authors are responsible for all of the views and opinions expressed in the paper.

References

  1. Acs, J. Z., Stam, E., Audretsch, D. B., & O’Connor, A. (2017). The lineages of the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adner, R. (2006). Match your innovation strategy to your innovation ecosystem. Harvard Business Review, 84(4), 98–107.Google Scholar
  3. Agrawal, A., & Cockburn, I. (2003). The anchor tenant hypothesis: exploring the role of large, local R&D-intensive firms in regional innovation systems. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 21(9), 1227–1253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aldrich, H., & Fiol, C. (1994). Fools rush in? The institutional context of industry creation. Academy of Management Review, 19(4), 645–670.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, A. R., & Jack, S. L. (2002). The articulation of social capital in entrepreneurial networks: a glue or a lubricant? Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 14, 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arruda, C., Nogueira, V. S., & Costa, V. (2013). The Brazilian entrepreneurial ecosystem of startups: an analysis of entrepreneurship determinants in Brazil as seen from the OECD pillars. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2(39), 17–57.Google Scholar
  7. Auerswald, P. E., & Dani, L. (2017). The adaptive life cycle of entrepreneurial ecosystems: the biotechnology cluster. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 97–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Autio, E., Kenney, M., Mustar, P., Siegel, D., & Wright, M. (2014). Entrepreneurial innovation: the importance of context. Research Policy, 43, 1097–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Borissenko, Y., & Boschma, R. (2016). A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems: towards a future research agenda, no. 1630. Section of Economic Geography: Utrecht University.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, R., & Mason, C. (2017). Looking inside the spiky bits: a critical review and conceptualisation of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 11–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brusoni, S., & Prencipe, A. (2013). The organization of innovation in ecosystems: Problem framing, problem solving, and patterns of coupling. Collaboration and Competition in Business Ecosystems, 167–194.Google Scholar
  12. Cannone, G., & Ughetto, E. (2014). Funding innovation at regional level: an analysis of a public policy intervention in the Piedmont Region. Regional Studies, 48(2), 270–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cassia, L., Colombelli, A., & Paleari, S. (2008). Regional transformation processes through the universities, institutions and industry relationship. Industry and Higher Education, 22(2), 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Bruneel, J., & Mahajan, A. (2014). Creating value in ecosystems: crossing the chasm between knowledge and business ecosystems. Research Policy, 43, 1164–1176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, B. (2006). Sustainable valley entrepreneurial ecosystems. Business Strategy and the Environment, 15, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Colantonio, A., Burdett, R., & Rode, P. (2013). Transforming urban economies: policy lessons from European and Asian Cities. Routledge: LSE Cities.Google Scholar
  17. Colombelli, A. (2006). Modelli di trasformazione territoriale: Lezioni per Torino? In G. Russo & P. Terna (Eds.), Produrre a Torino. Torino: Otto Editore.Google Scholar
  18. Cooke, P., Gomez Uranga, M., & Etxebarria, G. (1997). Regional innovation systems: institutional and organisational dimensions. Research Policy, 26(4–5), 475–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Delgado, M., Porter, M. E., & Stern, S. (2010). Clusters and entrepreneurship. Journal of Economic Geography, 10(4), 495–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.Google Scholar
  21. Eisenhardt, K., & Galunic, D. C. (2000). Coevolving: at last a way to make synergies work. Harvard Business Review, 78, 91–101.Google Scholar
  22. Feldman, M., & Zoller, T. D. (2012). Dealmakers in place: social capital connections in regional entrepreneurial economies. Regional Studies, 46(1), 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Feldman, M., & Zoller, T. D. (2014). The character of innovative places: entrepreneurial strategy, economic development, and prosperity. Small Business Economics, 43, 9–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Feldman, M., Francis, J., & Bercovitz, J. (2005). Creating a cluster while building a firm: entrepreneurs and the formation of industrial clusters. Regional Studies, 39(1), 129–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fritsch, M. (2001). Co-operation in regional innovation systems. Regional Studies, 35(4), 297–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gibbons, R., & Henderson, R. (2012). Relational contracts and organizational capabilities. Organization Science, 23(5), 1350–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoang, H., & Antoncic, B. (2003). Network-based research in entrepreneurship: a critical review. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(2), 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iansiti, M., & Levien, R. (2004). Strategy as ecology. Harvard Business Review, 82(3), 68–79.Google Scholar
  29. Isenberg, D. (2010). The big idea: how to start an entrepreneurial revolution. Harvard Business Review. June 2010.Google Scholar
  30. Kenney, M., & Patton, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial geographies: support networks in three high technology industries. Economic Geography, 81(2), 201–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Le Galès, P., & Voelzkow, H. (2001). Introduction: the governance of local economies. In C. Crouch, P. Le Galès, C. Trigilia, & H. Voelzkow (Eds.), Local production systems in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Markusen, A. (1996). Sticky places in slippery space: a typology of industrial districts. Economic Geography, 72(3), 293–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mason, C., & Brown, R. (2013). Creating good public policy to support high-growth firms. Small Business Economics, 40(2), 211–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miller, & Acs. (2017). The campus as entrepreneurial ecosystem: the University of Chicago. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 75–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mooi, E. A., & Ghosh, M. (2010). Contract specificity and its performance implications. Journal of Marketing, 74(2), 105–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Neck, H. M., Meyer, G. D., Cohen, B., & Corbett, A. C. (2004). An entrepreneurial system view of new venture creation. Journal of Small Business Management, 42, 190–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nijkamp, P. (2003). Entrepreneurship in a modern network economy. Regional Studies, 37(4), 395–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Phelps, C., Heidl, R., & Wadhwa, A. (2012). Knowledge, networks and knowledge networks: a review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 38, 1115–1165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Poppo, L., Zheng Zhou, K., & Zenger, T. R. (2008). Examining the conditional limits of relational governance: specialized assets, performance ambiguity, and long-standing ties. Journal of Management Studies, 45(7), 1195–1216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Porter, M. E. (1998). Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review, November–December, p. 77–90.Google Scholar
  41. Powell, W. W., Packalen, K., & Whittington, K. (2010). Organizational and institutional genesis: the emergence of high-tech clusters in the life sciences. Queen’s School of Business Research Paper, 03–10.Google Scholar
  42. Quatraro, F. (2007). Change vs. decline: a comparative analysis of the evolution of TFP in Italian regions, with a particular attention to the case of Turin. International Review of Economics, 54, 86–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Regione Piemonte (2014). Guida pratica all’ecosistema della creazione d’impresa. Centro Stampa Regione Piemonte.Google Scholar
  44. Rogers, E. M., & Larsen, J. K. (1984). Silicon Valley fever: growth of high-technology culture. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  45. Spigel, B. (2017). The relational organization of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(1), 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spilling, O. R. (1996). The entrepreneurial system: on entrepreneurship in the context of a mega-event. Journal of Business Research, 36(1), 91–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stam, E. (2015). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and regional policy: a sympathetic critique. European Planning Studies, 23(9), 1759–1769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stuart, T. E., & Sorenson, O. (2005). Social networks and entrepreneurship. In S. A. Alvarez, R. Agarwal, & O. Sorenson (Eds.), Handbook of entrepreneurship research (pp. 233–252). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tewdwr-Jones, M., & McNeill, D. (2000). The politics of city-region planning and governance. Reconciling the national, regional and urban in the competing voices of institutional restructuring. European Urban and Regional Studies, 7(2), 119–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Totterman, H., & Sten, J. (2005). Start-ups: business incubation and social capital. International Small Business Journal, 23(5), 487–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tracey, P., Heide, J. B., & Bell, S. J. (2014). Bringing “place” back in: regional clusters, project governance, and new product outcomes. Journal of Marketing, 78(6), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Van de Ven, A. H. (1993). The development of an infrastructure for entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 8, 211–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Welter, F. (2011). Contextualizing entrepreneurship: conceptual challenges and ways forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 165–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Westlund, H., & Bolton, R. (2003). Local social capital and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 21(1), 77–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Whitford, J., & Enrietti, A. (2005). Surviving the fall of a king: the regional institutional implications of crisis at Fiat auto. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29(4), 771–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Whittington, K., Owen-smith, J., & Powell, W. (2009). Networks, propinquity and innovation in knowledge-intensive industries. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 90–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Winkler, A. (2007). Torino City Report, CASE report 41, London School of Economics and Political Science, London.Google Scholar
  58. World Economic Forum. (2013). Entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe and company growth dynamics. Davos: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  59. Yin, R. (1984). Case study research. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  60. Zahra, S. A., & Nambisan, S. (2011). Entrepreneurship in global innovation ecosystems. Academy of Management Science Review, 1, 4–17.Google Scholar
  61. Zahra, S. A., & Nambisan, S. (2012). Entrepreneurship and strategic thinking in business ecosystems. Business Horizons, 55, 219–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Colombelli
    • 1
  • Emilio Paolucci
    • 2
  • Elisa Ughetto
    • 1
  1. 1.Politecnico di Torino and BRICK, Collegio Carlo AlbertoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Politecnico di TorinoTurinItaly

Personalised recommendations