Advertisement

Small Business Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 221–244 | Cite as

Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities

  • Michael Stuetzer
  • Martin Obschonka
  • Udo Brixy
  • Rolf Sternberg
  • Uwe Cantner
Original Research

Abstract

This article seeks to better understand the link between regional characteristics and individual entrepreneurship. We combine individual-level Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data for Western Germany with regional-level data, using multilevel analysis to test our hypotheses. We find no direct link between regional knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture on the one side and individual business start-up intentions and start-up activity on the other side. However, our findings point to the importance of an indirect effect of regional characteristics as knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture have an effect on the individual perception of founding opportunities, which in turn predicted start-up intentions and activity.

Keywords

Regional entrepreneurship Nascent entrepreneurship Opportunity perception Creative class Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 50th Annual Congress of the European Regional Science Association (Jönköping, Sweden; 2010), the 8th AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (Melbourne, Australia; 2011) and the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Imperial College, London (UK). Parts of this research were conducted while the first author was member of the DFG research training group 1411 “The economics of innovative change”. The work of the second author on this study was supported by the PATHWAYS International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for the Comparative Study of Productive Youth Development (Jacobs Foundation) and the Center for Applied Developmental Science (CADS) of the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany. The authors are grateful to Michael Fritsch, Per Davidsson and Veronique Schutjens for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

References

  1. Acs, Z. J., & Armingon, C. (2004). Employment growth and entrepreneurial activity in cities. Regional Studies, 38(8), 911–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acs, Z. J., & Plummer, L. (2005). Penetrating the knowledge filter in regional economics. Annals of Regional Science, 39(3), 439–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersson, M., & Koster, S. (2011). Sources of persistence in regional start-up rates—Evidence from Sweden. Journal of Economic Geography, 11(1), 179–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anselin, L. (1988). Spatial econometrics: Methods and models. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arenius, P., & De Clerc, D. (2005). A network-based approach on opportunity recognition. Small Business Economics, 24(3), 249–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arenius, P., & Minniti, M. (2005). Perceptual variables and nascent entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 24(3), 233–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Armington, C., & Acs, Z. C. (2002). The determinants of regional variation in new firm formation. Regional Studies, 36(1), 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Audretsch, D. B., & Fritsch, M. (1994). The geography of firm births in Germany. Regional Studies, 28(4), 359–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Audretsch, D. B., & Keilbach, M. (2004). Does entrepreneurship capital matter? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(5), 419–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Audretsch, D. B., & Keilbach, M. (2007). The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship. Journal of Management Studies, 44(7), 1242–1254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Autio, E., & Wennberg, K. (2010). You think, therefore, I become: Social attitudes and the transition to entrepreneurship, working paper presented at the DRUID summer conference. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from www2.druid.dk/conferences/viewpaper.php?id=501642&cf=43.
  12. Bergmann, H. (2005). Entrepreneurial attitudes. Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, 49(3–4), 185–199.Google Scholar
  13. Bergmann, H., & Sternberg, R. (2007). The changing face of entrepreneurship in Germany. Small Business Economics, 28(2–3), 205–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blanchflower, D. G., Oswald, A. J., & Stutzer, A. (2001). Latent entrepreneurship across nations. European Economic Review, 45(4–6), 680–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boschma, R. A., & Fritsch, M. (2009). Creative class and regional growth: Empirical evidence from seven European countries. Economic Geography, 85(4), 391–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bosma, N., & Schutjens, V. (2011). Understanding regional variation in entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurial attitude in Europe. Annals of Regional Science, 47(3), 711–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bosma, N., van Stel, A., & Suddle, K. (2008). The geography of new firm formation: Evidence from independent start-ups and new subsidiaries in the Netherlands. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 4(2), 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Clarke, P. J. (2008). When can group level clustering be ignored? Multilevel models versus single-level models with sparse data. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(8), 752–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davidsson, P. (2006). Nascent entrepreneurship: Empirical studies and developments’. Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 2, 1–76.Google Scholar
  21. Davidsson, D. (2012). Entrepreneurial opportunity and the entrepreneurship nexus: A reconceptualization. Paper presented at the 2012 Academy of Management Meeting.Google Scholar
  22. Davidsson, P., & Honig, B. (2003). The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(3), 301–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davidsson, P., & Wiklund, J. (1997). Values, beliefs and regional variations in new firm formation rates. Journal of Economic Psychology, 18(2–3), 179–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Durbin, J. (1960). Estimation of parameters in time-series regression models. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society B, 22(1), 139–153.Google Scholar
  25. Eichhorst, W., & Zimmermann, K.-F. (2007). And then there were four… How many (and which) measures of active labor market policy do we still need? Applied Economics Quarterly, 53(3), 243–272.Google Scholar
  26. Etzioni, A. (1987). Entrepreneurship, adaptation and legitimation: A macro-behavioral perspective. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organisation, 8(2), 175–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Feldman, M. P. (2001). The entrepreneurial event revisited: Firm formation in a regional context. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 861–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (2010). Predicting and changing behavior: The reasoned action approach. New York: Taylor.Google Scholar
  29. Florida, R. L. (2004). The rise of the creative class. Revised paperback edition. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  30. Freytag, A., & Thurik, R. (2007). Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17(2), 117–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fritsch, M. (2004). Entrepreneurship, entry and performance of new businesses in two growth regimes: East and West Germany. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 14(5), 525–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fritsch, M., & Brixy, U. (2004). The establishment file of the German social insurance statistics. Journal of Applied Social Science Studies, 124(1), 183–190.Google Scholar
  33. Fritsch, M., & Falck, O. (2007). New business formation by industry over space and time: A multi-dimensional analysis. Regional Studies, 41(2), 157–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fritsch, M., & Mueller, P. (2007). The persistence of regional new business formation activity over time—Assessing the potential of policy promotion programs. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17(3), 299–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fritsch, M., & Rusakova, A. (2010). Personality traits, self-employment and professions. Jena Economic Research Papers, 2010-075.Google Scholar
  36. Fritsch, M., & Stuetzer, M. (2009). The geography of creative people in Germany. International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 5(1–3), 7–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Fritsch, M., & Wyrwich, M. (2012). The long persistence of regional entrepreneurship culture: Germany 1925–2005 (pp. 2012–2036). No: Jena Economic Research Papers.Google Scholar
  38. George, G., & Zahra, S. A. (2002). Culture and its consequences for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 26(4), 5–8.Google Scholar
  39. Gertler, M. S. (2003). Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or the undefinable tacitness of being (there). Journal of Economic Geography, 3(1), 75–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Glaeser, E. L. (2005). Review of Richard Florida’s The rise of the creative class. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 35(5), 593–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Grilo, I., & Irigoyen, J. (2006). Entrepreneurship in the EU: To wish and not to be. Small Business Economics, 26(4), 305–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Guiso, L., Sapienza, P., & Zingales, L. (2008). Long term persistence. NBER Working Papers, No. 14278.Google Scholar
  43. Guiso, L., & Schivardi, F. (2005). Learning to be an entrepreneur. CERP Discussion Paper, No. 5290.Google Scholar
  44. Hansen, H. K., & Niedomysl, T. (2009). Migration of the creative class: Evidence from Sweden. Journal of Economic Geography, 9(2), 191–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hessels, J., van Gelderen, M., & Thurik, R. (2008). Entrepreneurial aspirations, motivations, and their drivers. Small Business Economics, 31(3), 323–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills (CA): Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  47. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  48. Hox, J. J. (2010). Multilevel analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Jackson, J. E., & Rodkey, G. R. (1994). The attitudinal climate for entrepreneurial activity. Public Opinion Quarterly, 58(3), 358–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Jha, S. (2008). Trade, institutions and religious tolerance: Evidence from India. Stanford University Research Paper, No. 2004.Google Scholar
  51. Johnson, P., & Parker, S. C. (1996). Spatial variations in the determinants and effects of firm births and deaths. Regional Studies, 30(7), 679–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Krueger, N. F. (2000). The cognitive infrastructure of opportunity emergence. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 24(3), 5–23.Google Scholar
  53. Krugman, P. (1991). Geography and trade. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  54. Lazear, E. P. (2005). Entrepreneurship. Journal of Labor Economics, 23(4), 649–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lee, S. Y., Florida, R., & Acs, Z. (2004). Creativity and entrepreneurship: A regional analysis of new firm formation. Regional Studies, 38(8), 879–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Levie, J. (2007). Immigration, in-migration, ethnicity, and entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. Small Business Economics, 28(2), 143–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ma, R., Huang, Y.-H., & Shenkar, O. (2011). Social networks and opportunity recognition: A cultural comparison between Taiwan and the United States. Strategic Management Journal, 32(11), 1183–1205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Maskell, P., & Malmberg, A. (1999). Localised learning and industrial competitiveness. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 23(2), 167–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McGranahan, D., & Wojan, T. (2006). Recasting the creative class to examine growth processes in rural and urban communities. Regional Studies, 41(2), 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McMullen, J. S., & Shepherd, D. A. (2006). Entrepreneurial action and the role of uncertainty in the theory of the entrepreneur. Academy of Management Review, 31(1), 132–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Minniti, M. (2005). Entrepreneurship and network externalities. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 57(1), 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mueller, P. (2006). Entrepreneurship in the region: Breeding ground for nascent entrepreneurs? Small Business Economics, 27(1), 41–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Obschonka, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Wasilewski, J. (2012). Constellations of new demands concerning careers and jobs: Results from a two-country study on social and economic change. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(1), 211–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ozgen, E., & Baron, R. A. (2007). Social sources of information in opportunity recognition: Effects of mentors, industry networks, and professional forums. Journal of Business Venturing, 22(2), 174–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Parker, S. C. (2005). Explaining regional variations in entrepreneurship as multiple occupational equilibria. Journal of Regional Science, 45(4), 829–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Paulhus, D. L., & Trapnell, P. D. (1998). Typological measures of shyness: Additive, interactive and categorical. Journal of Research in Personality, 32(2), 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Qian, H., & Acs, Z. J. (in press). An absorptive capacity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics. doi: 10.1007/s11187-011-9368-x.
  68. Reynolds, P. D., Bosma, N., Autio, E., Hunt, S., De Bono, N., Servais, I., et al. (2005). Global entrepreneurship monitor: Data collection design and implementation 1998–2003. Small Business Economics, 24(3), 205–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reynolds, P. D., Miller, B., & Maki, W. R. (1995). Explaining regional variation in business births and deaths: U.S. 1976–1988. Small Business Economics, 7(5), 205–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Saxenian, A. (1994). Regional advantage. Culture and competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Selfhout, M., Burk, W., Branje, S., Denissen, J., van Aken, M., & Meeus, W. (2010). Emerging late adolescent friendship networks and big five personality traits: A social network approach. Journal of Personality, 78(2), 510–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Shane, S. (2000). Prior knowledge and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities. Organization Science, 11(4), 448–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Shane, S. (2012). Delivering on the promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 10–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shane, S., Locke, E. A., & Collins, C. J. (2003). Entrepreneurial motivation. Human Resource Management Review, 13(2), 257–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226.Google Scholar
  76. Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modelling. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  77. Spengler, A. (2008). The establishment history panel. Schmollers Jahrbuch: Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, 128(3), 501–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stam, E. (2010). Entrepreneurship, evolution and geography. In R. Boschma & R. Martin (Eds.), The handbook of evolutionary economic geography (pp. 139–161). Cheltenham/UK, Northampton/USA: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  79. Sternberg, R. J. (2004). Successful intelligence as a basis for entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(2), 189–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sternberg, R. (2009). Regional dimensions of entrepreneurship. Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 5(4), 211–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sternberg, R. (2010). Neither planned nor by chance: How knowledge-intensive clusters emerge. In D. Fornahl, S. Henn, & M.-P. Menzel (Eds.), Emerging cluster: Theoretical, empirical and political perspectives on the initial stage of cluster evolution (pp. 295–323). Cheltenham/UK, Northampton/USA: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  82. Sternberg, R., & Rocha, H. O. (2007). Why entrepreneurship is a regional event: Theoretical arguments, empirical evidence and policy consequences. In M. P. Rice & T. G. Habbershon (Eds.), Entrepreneurship: The engine of growth (pp. 215–238). Westport/CT, London: Praeger.Google Scholar
  83. Stuetzer, M., Obschonka, M., & Schmitt-Rodermund, E. (in press). Balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs. Small Business Economics. doi: 10.1007/s11187-012-9423-2.
  84. Tamásy, C. (2006). Determinants of regional entrepreneurship dynamics in contemporary Germany: A conceptual and empirical analysis. Regional Studies, 40(4), 364–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Vinson, G. A., Conelly, B. S., & Ones, D. D. (2007). Relationships between personality and organization switching: Implications for utility estimates. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 15(1), 118–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wagner, J., & Sternberg, R. (2004). Start-up activities, individual characteristics, and the regional milieu: Lessons for entrepreneurship support policies from German micro data. Annals of Regional Science, 38(2), 219–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stuetzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Obschonka
    • 3
  • Udo Brixy
    • 4
  • Rolf Sternberg
    • 5
  • Uwe Cantner
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Chair of Economic PolicyTechnical University IlmenauIlmenauGermany
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business SchoolQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Center for Applied Developmental ScienceFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Employment Research (IAB)NurembergGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Economic and Cultural GeographyLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  6. 6.Department of Economics and Business Administration and Graduate College “The Economics of Innovative Change” (DFG-GK-1411)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  7. 7.Department of Marketing and Management, I2M GroupUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

Personalised recommendations