The Urban Quality of Life and Entrepreneurship: Past, Present, and Future

  • Arturo E. Osorio


Urban spaces are known for their local quality of life, often fostering higher rates of entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2017 more than half of the world population is already considered urban; by 2050 this number is expected to surpass 70%. To face this accelerated growth, current research needs to better understand urban ecosystems to preserve and promote the urban quality of life that fosters local entrepreneurship and innovation. To aid this research goal Pennings original work on urban quality of life and entrepreneurship is revisited and discussed. This review includes five sections: (1) a historically framed theoretical context, (2) a summary of the original paper, (3) an analysis of the original contributions, (4) a suggested future research agenda, and (5) a brief conclusion.


Urban entrepreneurship Population ecology Resource dependency Creative class Quality of life 


  1. Aldrich, H. E. (1990). Using an ecological perspective to study organizational founding rates. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 14(3), 7–24.Google Scholar
  2. Aldrich, H. E. (2007). Organizations and environments. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alonso, W. (1975). Location theory. In J. Freeman & W. Alonso (Eds.), Regional Policy. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Alvedalen, J., & Boschma, R. (2017). A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: Towards a future research agenda. European Planning Studies, 25(6), 887–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amburgey, T. L., & Rao, H. (1996). Organizational ecology: Past, present, and future directions. The Academy of Management Journal, 5, 1265.Google Scholar
  6. Amezcua, A. S., Grimes, M. G., Bradley, S. W., & Wiklund, J. (2013). Organizational sponsorship and founding environments: A contingency view on the survival of business-incubated firms, 1994-2007. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), 1628–1654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aspelund, A., Fjell, L., & Rødland, S. E. (2017). Doing good and doing well? International entrepreneurship and social responsibility. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 21(2.) 21p.Google Scholar
  8. Begley, T. M., Wee-Liang, T., & Schoch, H. (2005). Politico-economic factors associated with interest in starting a business: A multi-country study. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 29(1), 35–55.Google Scholar
  9. Ben-Chieh, L. (1975). Quality of life indicators in the U.S. metropolitan areas, 1970. Kansas City: Midwest Research Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Beyes, T. (2009). Spaces of intensity – Urban entrepreneurship as redistribution of the sensible. In D. Hjorth & C. Steyaert (Eds.), The politics and aesthetics of entrepreneurship (new movements in entrepreneurship) (pp. 92–112). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  11. Birla, R. (2006). Delivering responsibility. Business Strategy Review, 17(2), 34–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blowfield, M. (2007). Globalization and poverty. Business Strategy Review, 18(4), 35–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boyd, N. G., & Vozikis, G. S. (1994). The influence of self-efficacy on the development of entrepreneurial intentions and actions. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 18(4), 63–77.Google Scholar
  14. Buschmann, K., & Coletta, C. (2009). The call of the city: Using design methods to attract families. Journal of Business Strategy, 30(2/3), 21–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Calás, M. B., Smircich, L., & Bourne, K. A. (2009). Extending the boundaries: Reframing “entrepreneurship as social change” through feminist perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 34(3), 552–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Child, J. (1972). Organizational structure, environment and performance: The role of strategic choice. Sociology, 6(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cohen, B., Smith, B., & Mitchell, R. (2008). Toward a sustainable conceptualization of dependent variables in entrepreneurship research. Business Strategy & the Environment, 17(2), 107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cooper, A. C. (1971). The founding of technologically-based firms. Milwaukee: Center for Venture Management.Google Scholar
  19. Cooper, A. C. (1973). Technical entrepreneurship: What do we know? R&D Management, 3(2), 59–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dawkins, C. J. (2003). Regional development theory: Conceptual foundations, classic works, and recent developments. Journal of Planning Literature, 18(2), 131–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dearlove, D. (2002). Liam black: Private profit, public good. Business Strategy Review, 13(4), 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ellis, V. (2001). Can global business be a force for good? Business Strategy Review, 12(2), 15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Florida, R. (2002a). Bohemia and economic geography. Journal of Economic Geography, 2(1).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Florida, R. (2002b). The rise of the creative class (2004 Paperback ed.). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Florida, R., Mellander, C., & Stolarick, K. (2008). Inside the black box of regional development: Human capital, the creative class and tolerance. Journal of Economic Geography, 8(5), 615–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Forman, C., & Goldfarb, A. (2008). Understanding the inputs into innovation: Do cities substitute for internal firm resources? Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 17(2), 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Foucault, M. 1982. The archaeology of knowledge: And the discourse on language (trans: Sheridan, A.). New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  28. Fritsch, M., & Falck, O. (2007). New business formation by industry over space and time: A multidimensional analysis. Regional Studies, 41(2), 157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gartner, W. B. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gartner, W. B., & Bhat, S. (2000). Environmental and ownership characteristics of small businesses and their impact on development. Journal of Small Business Management, 38(3), 14.Google Scholar
  31. Glaeser, E. L., Rosenthal, S. S., & Strange, W. C. (2010). Urban economics and entrepreneurship. Journal of Urban Economics, 67, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Granovetter, M. (1990). Entrepreneurship, development and the emergence of firms. Paper presented at the Wissenschaftszentreum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar
  33. Granovetter, M. (1991). The social construction of economic institutions. In A. Etzioni & P. R. Lawrence (Eds.), Socio-economics: Toward a new synthesis (pp. 75–81). Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  34. Hannan, M. T., & Carroll, G. R. (1995). Theory building and cheap talk about legitimation: Reply to Baum and Powell. American Sociological Review, 60(4), 539–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Higgins, B., & Savoie, D. (1995). Regional development theories and their application. New Brunswick/London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  36. Hillman, A. J., & Keim, G. D. (2001). Shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issues: What’s the bottom line? Strategic Management Journal, 22(2), 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hoover, E. M. (1937). Location theory and the shoe leather industries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Karnani, A. (2008). Help, don’t romanticize, the poor. Business Strategy Review, 19(2), 48–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Katz, J., & Gartner, W. B. (1988). Properties of emerging organizations. Academy of Management Review, 13(3), 429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kraus, S., Richter, C., Papagiannidis, S., & Durst, S. (2015). Innovating and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities in smart cities: Evidence from Germany. Creativity & Innovation Management, 24(4), 601–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mack, E., & Mayer, H. (2016). The evolutionary dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Urban Studies, 53(10), 2118–2133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mahar, J. F., & Coddington, D. C. (1965). The scientific complex—Proceed with caution. Harvard Business Review, 43(1), 140.Google Scholar
  43. March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  44. Marcketti, S. B., Niehm, L. S., & Fuloria, R. (2006). An exploratory study of lifestyle entrepreneurship and its relationship to life quality. Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 34(3), 241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Marin-Aguilar, J. T., & Vila-López, N. (2014). How can mega events and ecological orientation improve city brand attitudes? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(4), 629–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Markusen, A. (1996). Sticky places in slippery space: A typology of industrial districts. Economic Geography, 72(3), 293–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Markusen, A. (2005). Urban development and the politics of a creative class: Evidence from a study of artists. Environment and Planning, 38(10), 1921–1940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Markusen, A., Wassall, G. H., DeNatale, D., & Cohen, R. (2008). Defining the creative economy: Industry and occupational approaches. Economic Development Quarterly, 22(1), 24–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marshall, A. (1890). Principles of economics. New York: Macmillan and Co.Google Scholar
  50. Mason, C. M. (1991). Spatial variations in enterprise: The geography of new firm formation. In R. Burrows (Ed.), Deciphering the enterprise culture: Entrepreneurship, petty capitalism and the restructuring of Britain (pp. 74–106). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. McClelland, D. S. (1965). Need achievement and entrepreneurship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1(1), 389–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Muñoz, P., & Cohen, B. (2016). The making of the urban entrepreneur. California Management Review, 59(1), 71–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Osorio, A. E., & Ozkazanc-Pan, B. (2013). Examining urban entrepreneurship: Forms and varieties under capitalist and transition economies symposium. Academy of management annual meeting, Orlando.Google Scholar
  54. Osorio, A. E., Ozkazanc-Pan, B., & Donnelly, P. F. (2015). An entrepreneurial context for the theory of the firm: Exploring assumptions and consequences. New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, 18(1).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pennings, J. M. (1982). The urban quality of life and entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Journal, 25(1), 63–79.Google Scholar
  56. Peredo, A. M., & Chrisman, J. (2006). Toward a theory of community-based enterprise. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 309–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Porter, M. E. (1995). The competitive advantage of the inner city. Harvard Business Review, 73(3), 55+.Google Scholar
  58. Richter, C., Syrjä, P., & Kraus, S. (2015). The smart city as an opportunity for entrepreneurship. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 7(3), 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Shapero, A. R. (1972). The process of technical company formation in a local area. In A. C. Cooper & J. L. Komives (Eds.), Technical entrepreneurship symposium (Vol. 225). Milwaukee: Center for Venture Management.Google Scholar
  60. Shapero, A. R. (1975). The displaced, uncomfortable entrepreneur. Psychology Today, 9(6), 83–88.Google Scholar
  61. Smircich, L., & Stubbart, C. (1985). Strategic management in an enacted world. Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 724–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Specht, P. H. (1993). Munificence and carrying capacity of the environment and organization formation. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 17(2), 77.Google Scholar
  63. Sriram, V., Mersha, T., & Herron, L. (2007). Drivers of urban entrepreneurship: An integrative model. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 13(4), 235–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Susbauer, J. C. (1972). The technical entrepreneurship process in Austin, Texas. In A. C. Cooper & J. L. Komives (Eds.), Technical entrepreneurship symposium (Vol. 225). Milwaukee: Center for Venture Management.Google Scholar
  65. Thornton, P. H. (1999). The sociology of entrepreneurship. Annual Review of Sociology, 25, 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Urbanization and Health. (2010). Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(4), 241–320.Google Scholar
  67. Weber, A. (1929). Theory of the location of industries (trans: Friedrich, C. J.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arturo E. Osorio
    • 1
  1. 1.Management & Global BusinessRutgers, The State University of New JerseyNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations