Triggered largely by claims that small businesses were the main source of new jobs, an ‘explosion’ of interest in enterprise, entrepreneurs and small business has led to the establishment of a conventional wisdom about enterprise.
Mistaken theories can become influential and examining the conventional enterprise wisdom indicates that much of it is questionable. If that is the case, a reassessment is needed. While wilful blindness and continuing to do more of the same is a natural response, it will not lead to improvements in knowledge. A new paradigm requires a step change in thinking, which is not easy to initiate. Nevertheless, accepting the evidence for the errors in current understanding and practice is a necessary first step if enterprise and its benefits are to be better understood and promoted. This book examines the conventional wisdom around enterprise, entrepreneurs and small businesses and illustrates not only why and how this could have evolved, but also why it could be based on a set of mistaken assumptions.
Correcting the foundational knowledge on which enterprise and policy and practice rely and finding a new paradigm will result in better teaching and more effective policy. It will therefore be of interest to researchers, academics, students and policy makers in the fields of enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: An evolving understanding of enterprise, but with problems 2. Conventional wisdom and assumptions about enterprise: There is a questionable conventional wisdom but, if its foundations are not clearly recorded, what might be the assumptions behind it? 3. Knowledge is often imperfect: How knowledge forms, how we learn, why there are possible distortions and why we should expect the emergence of a ‘conventional wisdom’ 4. A policy research disconnect: Why policy failings were not resolved through a meaningful dialogue with research and consequent ‘trial and error’ improvements 5. Exploring the assumptions: The suggested assumptions: are they credible and were they made? 6. Questioning the Assumptions: If the assumptions were made, were they correct? 7. Reviewing the evidence: Reviewing the case that conventional enterprise wisdom rests on a foundation of interlinked, but misguided, assumptions 8. Reclaiming Enterprise: The implications of changing the paradigm
Simon Bridge is an author and a visiting professor at the Ulster University Business School, UK.