The Emerging Strategic Entrepreneurship Field
| Nicolai Foss |
“Strategic entrepreneurship” has emerged as a field in the intersection of strategic management and entrepreneurship. It has its own specialized journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, now in its fifth year of existence. Some of the pioneers of strategic entrepreneurship characterize the field in the following manner:
Strategic entrepreneurship is the integration of entrepreneurial (i.e., opportunity-seeking actions) and strategic (i.e., advantage-seeking actions) perspectives to design and implement entrepreneurial strategies that create wealth. Thus, strategic entrepreneurship is entrepreneurial action that is taken with a strategic perspective” ( Hitt, Ireland, Camp & Sexton, 2002:2).
I am excited by this research stream and think that its attempt to identify the antecedents of new value creation in the context of established firms is entirely warranted (at least in management research, entrepreneurship has too often been associated solely with new firm formation). And yet, strategic entrepreneurship is clearly a field in search of a core and an identity.
It is not yet entirely clear whether the field amounts to more than relabelling existing “dynamic” strategic management ideas (e.g., dynamic capabilities, real options), ideas that have been around in entrepreneurship research for some time (e.g., entrepreneurial orientation), and ideas from innovation theory. It is also not clear what fundamental view of the firm is underlying this research. Given that extant entrepreneurship has had a strong emphasis on individuals, it is striking that individuals do not really seem to be present in strategic entrepreneurship research. It is not made clear, or even discussed, what role organization design (the design of organizational structure and control) plays for the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities.
The Center (soon Department) of Strategic Management and Globalization at the Copenhagen Business School has arranged a conference that is dedicated to furthering strategic entrepreneurship by “bringing organization design and micro-foundations into the field.” The conference begins tomorrow and features such luminaries as Shaker Zahra, Jeff Hornsby, Bill Schulze and Mike Wright — and O&M’s Peter Klein. More to come …