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Questioning the Entrepreneurial State

PublikationBok
Christian Sandström, Entrepreneurial state, Green deal, Innovation policy, Karl Wennberg

Sammanfattning

Western economies are struggling to recover from a decade of Plagued by structural crises, an ongoing pandemic, high unemployment and sluggish growth. As progressively looser monetary and fiscal policies have not helped, both the EU and national governments have increasingly turned towards interventionist industrial policies. Mariana Mazzucato’s The Entrepreneurial State (2011) provided an intellectual justification for these efforts, and consequently gained popularity. The message was clear: in order to get more innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development and growth we need more government, not less. In this book, 30 international scholars address the core ideas underpinning the entrepreneurial state. We provide evidence of both historical and recent failures of “green deals” and similar efforts, while also developing novel directions for innovation policy. In many regards, this book is a warning: huge government schemes towards specific, noble outcomes have historically been plagued with failures. In sum, we argue that innovation policy needs to be inverted: instead of being specific and targeted, it needs to be broad and general, focusing on the general conditions for firms to operate. Instead of providing targeted support to certain firms, industries or even technologies, innovation policy needs to constructively deal with barriers to innovation, including the proactive handling of vested interest groups.

The book is open access and can be downloaded here.

Wennberg, K. & Sandström, C. (2022). Questioning the Entrepreneurial State. Springer.


Liknande innehåll

The Entrepreneurial Story and its Implications for Research
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Brattström, A., & Wennberg, K.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 46(6), 1443-1468.

Sammanfattning

Research is not merely report-writing; it also involves elements of storytelling. In this essay, we reflect on two narrative archetypes in entrepreneurship research: the stories of entrepreneurship as a road to salvation and means to emancipation. We outline a framework to analyze research from a storytelling perspective, apply this framework to identify implicit assumptions and methodological biases in mainstream research, and discuss how a storytelling framework can be used to generate alternative stories. We argue for a more empirically grounded research agenda that continues the development of entrepreneurship research into a rich and diverse field.

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
BokkapitelPublikation
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.

Sammanfattning

There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

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