Culture and entrepreneurial opportunity in high- and low-entrepreneurship rural communities: Challenging the discovery/creation divide

Michael William Patrick Fortunato, Theodore Roberts Alter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to underscore the role of culture in situating and embedding opportunistic action differently in high- and low-entrepreneurship communities in the USA. It challenges the idea that opportunity is either exclusively discovered or created – two themes commonly found in the literature. Design/methodology/approach: The approach utilizes a multiple case study across one high- and one low-entrepreneurship community in rural areas in each of three states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine. Community profiling, key informant interviews and survey analysis with entrepreneurs and local institutional actors are used to develop a greater understanding of how these individuals conceptualize and utilize opportunity in ways that lead to entrepreneurship development. Findings: Quantitative and qualitative findings are presented supporting the idea that in these rural areas, discovery and creation fail to capture the nuances of how entrepreneurs think about opportunistic action. Practical implications: This research offers insights for both researchers and practitioners about more effective ways to think about entrepreneurial opportunity and provides a glimpse as to how different community actors may hold different, but equally-valid, views on how opportunity arises – an idea with significant policy and practice implications. Originality/value: The research contributes empirical support challenging the current discussion on entrepreneurial opportunity and advances the conversation as it pertains to rural entrepreneurship development using original research from the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-476
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Enterprising Communities
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management

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