Alistair R Anderson

Alistair R Anderson
Lancaster University | LU · Lancaster University Management School

BA hons, MSc, PhD

About

157
Publications
114,313
Reads
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11,247
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in understanding entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that entrepreneuring is as much social as economic. My view is that a better understanding is unlikely to be achieved about this remarkable phenomenon by researching variances. Entrepreneurship appears in many forms. On one hand it is a change process, yet it also uses change. Accordingly, there are general processes, such as creating value. However, there are also unique ways of achieving these values. These represent the uniqueness of individuals and the context in which they operate. Fine grained, careful examination of what people do should lead us towards understanding the dynamics of people, contexts and process. In turn this will lead to better theory to explain this remarkable phenomenon.
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - present
Lancaster University
Position
  • Professor
April 2014 - present
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Position
  • Professor
May 2006 - October 2018
Lancaster University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (157)
Article
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Informed by Mike Wright’s insight on entrepreneurial finance research problems, we examine how Chinese angel finance has evolved with institutional changes over two decades. Our longitudinal cases explore the changing roles of personal ties within strengthening regulatory institutions. Rather than the diminishing role anticipated, we found personal...
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We examine how female migrant entrepreneurs overturn disadvantage through social resourcing. We argue they are disadvantaged by the intersectionality of their identities; that social constructions and ensuing entrepreneurial expectations are a poor fit with their ascribed identity, that they are marginalised by their ‘otherness’. However, entrepren...
Article
Research summary Anticipating that innovation nurtures entrepreneurship, we began an extended case study of an innovative start‐up in the space industry. We quickly saw that institutions imposed formidable barriers to implementing entrepreneurship from innovation. Curious about how, why and the extent of this situation, we widened our study to othe...
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Contrary to a simple model of small firm growth where increased inputs produce greater outputs, we consider growth is a complex and difficult process. Accordingly, the paper is concerned with how small firms grow, especially how they make sense of the growth process. We collected narratives of the experiences of small firm growth in an extended cas...
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We are interested in how morality can be sustained in entrepreneurial practice. We examine the interesting case of the Hutterites, a communal society who practice community entrepreneurship – entrepreneuring by the community and for the community. Arguing that culture provides values and that morals are cultural artefacts – we show how ethics deter...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the extent and types of entrepreneurial competences among culturally different ethnic groups in Malaysia. Malaysia offers us a similar environment and ecosystem to make comparisons within a single context. Design/methodology/approach This paper surveyed 600 respondents – 200 Malaysian Chinese, 200 Ma...
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The informal business sector has been garnering attention from governments and researchers. In countries where this sector plays a significant role in business activity and employment, policymakers are eager to have entrepreneurs enter or transition to the formal economy. However, with research in its infancy, there is little basis for developing e...
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Co-creation of innovation, as transcending perspective of marketing, is of growing interest in recent years. Developing new products through collaboration is recognized as beneficial to suppliers as well as customers. Businesses face challenges as to how to build and develop close and long-lasting collaborative relationships for innovation success....
Article
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Entrepreneurship is often considered a male-gendered concept, and carries masculine connotations. However, the importance of women entrepreneurs and their contribution to the economy has recently been realized. Nonetheless, there is limited research about female entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in the developing countries context. This...
Article
Purpose The paper investigates an unusual form of social enterprising located in a poor region of Pakistan. The purpose of this paper is to examine a novel form of micro social enterprise. Their form and functions are considered, examining how they conform to what is expected of a social enterprise. The extreme cases are analysed to reflect on what...
Chapter
In this chapter, the authors explore entrepreneurial change in Stanton, a rural small town in New Zealand. This once-prosperous place has suffered economically and socially as its past core industries have vanished, and it can now be considered as a depleted community. Yet in recent years, the town has seen a rejuvenation, in part due to the endeav...
Article
Our study of entrepreneurial engagement within a depleted New Zealand community contributes to understanding the role of place and legitimacy in entrepreneurial practice. General decline characterised Stanton until a newcomer entrepreneur started several businesses that rejuvenated the town. She became a local economic hero to many stakeholders; bu...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of how the institutions of family and culture play out in shaping family business practices. This study focusses on family business led by poor entrepreneurial women in a context of extreme poverty. Design/methodology/approach The methods included participant observation, focus gro...
Article
This article considers how we conceive and research rural entrepreneurship. While we argue for the importance of context for understanding entrepreneuring, we also acknowledge that some perceptions of the rural context may be misleading. We critically review how the rural in rural entrepreneurship has been applied. We find how some romancing of the...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of confidence in how both new and experienced entrepreneurs interpret and make sense of their business environment to inform decision-making. We illustrate our conceptual arguments with descriptive results from a large-scale (n = 6,289) survey on entrepreneurs' perception of business performance...
Article
We examine entrepreneurship practice and identity work in a rural small town in New Zealand. Once prosperous, the town suffered economically and socially as old industries closed. Recently the town was rejuvenated, largely because of Linda's entrepreneurial activities. Our findings demonstrated conflict between her entrepreneurial identity and loca...
Article
Narrative is an important tool for developing and writing up action research experiences. Its power lies in the fact that narrative construction and narrative recounting are fundamental human communication practices. Narratives are also knowledge producing devices, since they make sense of personal experiences and share that sense-giving with other...
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Although the importance of diverse knowledge is widely recognised for open innovation, there may be a gap in our understanding of the social processes that shape how collaborators engage in knowledge exchange. This social gap may be significant because of the powerful, but largely unexplained, role attributed to trust as a social artefact. Moreover...
Article
This paper is about the relational view to control constructs and entrepreneurship. It introduces the concept ‘interaction locus of control’ to the study of entrepreneurial agency cognitions. We argue that a better understanding of entrepreneurial agency can be achieved by re-engaging with the psychological constructs of ‘locus of control’, ‘person...
Article
Purpose – To address the problem of why the poorest, most disadvantaged groups such as rural African women benefit less from microfinance. We focus on the perception and experiences of ordinary rural entrepreneurial women on microfinance, in a context of extreme poverty and where family responsibility and economic activities are closely intertwined...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the explanatory power of existing theories of entrepreneurship. The authors find gaps and fragmentation and offer propose a different approach – a theory of entrepreneuring – a theory of practice. Design/methodology/approach This is a conceptual paper, but the authors draw heavily on the literature....
Article
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Our investigation uses structuration theory to explore the emergence of a microfranchise whose aim is to raise the income of smallholder farmers in Kenya by enabling an increase in productivity. This longitudinal real time qualitative study tracks the key actions taken in developing the venture, beginning in the conception phase of startup and cont...
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The German economy is praised for its stability, creating a seemingly strong economic environment in which entrepreneurship should thrive. Our research problem is that, in spite of the strong economy, new venture creation rates are substantially lower than in other comparable economies. We employ a social constructivist approach and find that the w...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explain how context shapes what becomes entrepreneurial. Design/methodology/approach The paper is part of a longitudinal study over ten years, an ethnographic work including interviews, participating in meetings and shadowing. Texts and voices boiled down to transcripts and notes were sorted in NVivo. The em...
Article
We examine enterprise processes in a poor rural fishing village in Ghana, having become interested in why poverty persists in spite of considerable industry. Our case study uses the village as the unit for analysis because it offered a conceptually interesting place that is relatively economically, socially and spatially isolated. Most entrepreneur...
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The creative industries potentially contribute much to the social and economic viability of rural regions. This paper explores the role that broadband connectivity plays in the development of professional and creative practices. In particular, we explore the extent to which broadband connectivity can reduce the penalty of distance for rural creativ...
Article
This paper explores entrepreneurship as a community phenomenon to establish the roles of entrepreneurship within the social and spatial boundaries of place. During the decade of studying this place through an entrepreneurial lens, we were able to identify processes that might normally be overlooked. One, albeit unusual, entrepreneurial event had wo...
Article
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Purpose – The paper aims to review the emergence and nature of entrepreneurship education in China. This paper considers the variability of developments in practices despite policy. In turn, this allows one to consider the implications of this uneven distribution of expertise and resources. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is primarily empi...
Article
Small businesses are prototypical rural business, but limited by distance. However, creative businesses are less constrained by space and hold great promise for rural development. Indeed, the rural is an attractive creative aesthetic milieu. Moreover, new broadband technologies seem to offer a solution to address connectivity; the social and spatia...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the research questions: which methodologies and data gathering methods are employed by researchers publishing in top entrepreneurship journals, and how has this changed over time? Design/methodology/approach – The data gathering methods of research published in five top entrepreneurship journals bet...
Article
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This paper examines how entrepreneurship has become conceptualised as an economic phenomenon. We explain how the outcomes, the admirable results of entrepreneurship, have led to this position. An understandable concern for the economic benefits from enterprise, and the appeal of measurability, has led to a focus on explaining entrepreneurship. This...
Chapter
Developing greater understanding about if, how and why networks emerge, evolve and support growth has been recognized in the literature as an area for further research (Larson and Starr 1993; Uzzi 1997; Hite and Hesterly 2001). In this chapter we present data and demonstrate how the constant comparative approach can be used to develop theory and un...
Article
Entrepreneurship is characterized by complex, dynamic and emergent processes, and the interplay between actors, processes, and contexts. Postpositivistic approaches offer the opportunity to examine subtleties of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship by placing emphasis on a range of its dimensions and the interplays between dimensions. Despite a growi...
Article
Entrepreneurship is characterized by complex, dynamic and emergent processes, and the interplay between actors, processes, and contexts. Postpositivistic approaches offer the opportunity to examine subtleties of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship by placing emphasis on a range of its dimensions and the interplays between dimensions. Despite a growi...
Article
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This conceptual paper examines the nature of entrepreneurship in innovation processes in time of crisis. Crisis is a time of heightened uncertainty, manifested as increased ambiguity about what knowledge is available yet necessary for innovation. It is argued here that connecting this diverse knowledge is essential for innovation and that this is a...
Article
Based on what we know about the multiplex nature of entrepreneurship, we argue that entrepreneurship is a difficult topic to teach. One response has been a shift to constructionist perspectives where learning is seen as an active process of constructing rather than merely acquiring knowledge. We wonder how is it possible for students, lacking much...
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Social capital, which offers the broader theoretical construct to which networks and networking relate, is now recognized as an important influence in entrepreneurship. Broadly understood as resources embedded in networks and accessed through social connections, research has mainly focused on measuring structural, relational and cognitive dimension...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine and explain why most small firms remain small. A new conceptual framework – the condition of smallness – is proposed. Design/methodology/approach – A critical examination of the literature about the nature of being a small firm is first conducted. Employing an inductive analysis of responses from a...
Article
Purpose – The research aims to ask whether, in the absence of overarching innovative conditions, a small firm can have an innovative culture and what its scale and scope is. Design/methodology/approach – The study employs four exploratory case studies. This methodological choice is justified in that a case study approach allows the use of the exis...
Article
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The objective of this paper is to establish whether informal firms have entrepreneurial possibilities, or are marginal and inconsequential. The authors explore the nature of informal entrepreneurship in the theoretically rich context of Tunisia where, in the turbulent aftermath of the Arab Spring, the fiercely competitive environment is characteriz...
Article
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An ethnographic entrepreneurial study of rural communities undergoing structural change in the West Highlands of Scotland is presented. This contribution to entrepreneurial theory provides information about the relationship of small business to a rural environment. Interviews of 54 rural owners-managers of small businesses were done to develop "min...
Article
Highlights ► This paper considers the nature of time and what it means for business owning families to manage in time. ► Using qualitative techniques, the experiences of twelve family firms are explored. ► Heidegger's ideas about time are considered as an explanation of how temporal practices and processes use time which is not only, always, sequen...
Article
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the practices and processes of trust building and use in collaborative networking for product innovation and to compare face to face with virtual networking. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Guided by a literature review and preliminary participant observation, 16 open ended interviews collected data a...
Article
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Although entrepreneurship seems to offer a universal economic solution, there are some doubts about whether it is universally attractive. We argue that entrepreneurship is a socially constructed concept and consequently the meanings, and hence the appeal, of the enterprise will vary internationally. We argue that how entrepreneurship is understood...
Article
The continuing internationalisation of the textile industry has reduced the labour cost advantages of Tunisian clothing firms. These firms have a precarious position in the international value chain, often as subcontractors and only rarely contributing high value inputs. To remain viable in the hyper competition wrought by internationalisation, fir...
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Purpose ‐ The paper aims to better understand the process of networking by small business with their customers to achieve innovations. In particular the relative roles of face-to-face and virtual interaction are to be investigated.Design/methodology/approach ‐ Initially a week of participant observation was undertaken then 17 in-depth interviews we...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider why entrepreneurship theorising has become fragmented and how the research problem might be resolved. Design/methodology/approach – The authors first examine how entrepreneurial constructs reflect only part of what we “mean” by the construct to argue that we use different social constructions. This...
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Purpose – E-trade (or electronic trading) appears to offer increased efficiency in business processes, but only a limited number of small firms in Korea have adopted the new processes. The purpose of this paper is to try to establish the obstacles and the perceived barriers to the continuing use of e-trade technologies by small Korean firms. Design...
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The paper considers how and why SME retailers use the internet in their procurement processes. Examining retailers' views and reasons, we relate these to existing technology acceptance models, employing a qualitative approach. Although our respondents accepted the pervasion of internet marketing, they believed that a more personalised approach to p...
Article
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Innovative culture can enhance high-tech firms' performance, but context may influence the culture and ensuing innovation practices. We surveyed innovation culture in 92 Tunisian small ICT companies. Our multinomial logit regression found that although some innovation culture values were positively related to performance, others appeared counterpro...
Article
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Employing a social construction perspective, this article argues that entrepreneurs are uniquely empowered by entrepreneurial discourse to bring about creative destruction. Analysis of the representation of entrepreneurship in the media suggests that entrepreneurs have a distinctive presence in society that is shaped by cultural norms and expectati...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature and conceptual developments to explore how and why universities should teach entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach – This is a theoretical paper which draws on the rich seam of existing literature to develop theory about enterprise education purpose and pedagogy. Findi...
Article
Innovation determines a firm's competitiveness and survival and a joint venture is a fast and effective way to acquire the missing knowledge that partners require to innovate, but ‘knowing how to cooperate’ can be a determining factor in achieving the successful transfer of knowledge. Employing a sample of 81 service-sector firms and using a struct...
Article
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Purpose – Regulations and complying with regulation are a considerable burden on small firms, which consistently report that regulation is an obstacle to growth. Regulation for small business includes financial and psychological costs and worry about non-compliance. Accordingly, regulation inflation raises increasing difficulties in understanding a...
Article
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The social plays an important role in entrepreneurship, but one that is not well understood. We argue that the social conditions of entrepreneurs, as well as the social nature of opportunities, affect the entrepreneurial process. Hence it is conceptually useful to understand enterprise as socially situated. Accordingly, this article examines the en...
Article
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Social enterprises are unusual change organizations; typically their purpose is to bring about change to improve social well-being. Yet they do so in unusual ways. Traditional entrepreneurs generate social value as a by-product of economic value; whereas for social entrepreneurs the reverse is true. This brings about an ambiguity in integrating bus...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how knowledge and information is shared by small information and communication technology firms in Tunisia. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a comparative case study approach. This was intended to collect data that describe processes and also to elicit information about the reasons fo...
Chapter
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The chapter aims to enhance our understanding of “opportunity” in the context of social entrepreneurship through a paradigm interplay juxtaposing a functionalist thematic analysis and interpretivist sensemaking. This paradigmatic contrasting identifies differences and connections in the tensions of: linearity and simplicity/dynamism and complexity;...
Article
In this research project we examine an up-market Swedish furniture manufacturer to look at their marketing process. We found that they had an innovative approach which involved customers in developing and co-creating the market for their products. Accordingly, this paper describes and conceptualises the novel process in customer relations. Our case...
Article
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It is now recognized that to broaden our understanding about networks more qualitative and longitudinal work is required that examines transformation and the change processes of networks; how they emerge and develop over time. The case study reported here deals with these issues. It considers the development of a network for new entrepreneurs first...
Article
Networking plays an important and well-studied role in entrepreneurial start-up processes, but its role in subsequent venture growth is less well understood. This paper reports on an in-depth longitudinal study of entrepreneurial networking practices through venture growth. We discover that the entrepreneur's growth-focused networking practices inv...
Article
Entrepreneurship is a broad concept encompassing a wide range of activities, from the Schumpertian ideal associated with innovation to simply creating a job for oneself. Because we ask about national differences in entrepreneurship, we consider national differences for entrepreneurship, the institutions, and if these relate to the emergence of diff...
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This paper is concerned with ecopreneurs, the emergent group of entrepreneurs who direct their efforts towards environmental sustainability. Academic interest in this group has increased, but like most entrepreneurs, they are manifest in a variety of forms and functions. Consequently there has been considerable theorising, but to date little empiri...
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Purpose: This paper argues that whilst destination benchmarking and visitor surveys seek to measure the visitor experience, they privilege the destination manager or researcher rather than taking the visitor’s viewpoint. It suggests that capturing and analysing visitor stories whilst in the destination can facilitate understanding of how destinatio...
Article
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This paper explores entrepreneurship in a novel context to establish the existence, nature and scope in conditions of poverty. It was found that enterprise was socially organised, but with a social focus rather than a background condition. It is entrepreneurship for and in the social, rather than entrepreneurship with social outcomes. It seems like...
Article
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This paper explores differences in behaviour and performance between rural and urban small firms during the economic downturn. The authors had anticipated that the 'thinness' of the rural environment would have had adverse effects. However, their survey of 6,300 respondents showed that rural small firms were performing marginally better. Both group...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to explore the nature of trust in virtual entrepreneurial networks by asking the research question, “What types of trust can be found in these networks?”. The authors argue that globalisation, the pervasion of ICT, and the growth of entrepreneurial e-trade encourage the use of virtual networking by entrepreneurs. Netw...
Article
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The paper aims to investigate the role of networks in the growth processes of family firms. The study adds to two main stream of literature, drawing together theoretical developments from the family firm realm and networking theory, to investigate the ways in which these structures and processes interact to facilitate and inhibit entrepreneurial gr...
Conference Paper
This paper explores how entrepreneurial identity becomes manifest as a power relation to confront, challenge and bring about institutional change in the establishment. In this way the reflexive constitution of an entrepreneurial identity can enable significant purchase in challenging and reconstituting institutional forms through the dialectic inte...
Article
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This article examines the entrepreneurial intentions of young well educated people in Tunisia. Tunisia is a Muslim country which is “catching up”. Hence, understanding the attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions of females, and contrasting these with males, will provide an account of cultural attitudes towards female enterprise. Our survey of 332...
Article
Beyond the widely acknowledged importance of new business, the role of young exporting high-tech business in Israel and many other small economies is seen as vital for economic growth. Israel is small and geographically isolated from the main markets, suffers from security difficulties, but fosters a culture, which promotes knowledge rich new techn...
Article
Although the high-tech sector in developed countries is well understood, there are considerable gaps in our knowledge about the high-tech sector in developing countries. This study addresses questions about the nature of high tech in Tunisia and about factors associated with information and communications technology (ICT) firms’ success as examples...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of conceptualisation within the emerging field of social enterprise, the aim is to contribute to a better understanding of process effectiveness and potential. Design/methodology/approach – The literature is drawn upon in providing a rationale for focusing on process, for selecting an appro...
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This article explores the nature of micro finance, or micro credit, in rural Tanzania. It begins by examining the types of finance available to t