A sunny and vigorous DARE seminar May 13 in beautiful Maastricht

DARE seminar May 13: Current topics in entrepreneurship research

The sixth DARE seminar was an exciting event where the Dutch scholarly field in entrepreneurship research was gathered at Maastricht University.  Accompanied by excellent weather and surrounded by the academic ambiance of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) there was a nice and relaxed atmosphere in which a vigorous debate took place on Current topics in Entrepreneurship Research. Four empirical papers were presented, addressing entrepreneurial: finance, well-being, alliances and ambidextrous behavior. Scholars from all over the Dutch network and abroad joined the seminar and participated in the discussions. This DARE event was organized in cooperation with the School of Business and Economics from Maastricht University and the European Council of Small Business (ECSB). The following research was presented and discussed.

Credit rationing or overlending: Who is right?

The first paper was presented by Marcus Dejardin from Université catholique de Louvain and University of Namur, CERPE. The paper discusses two opposing theories on the ability of small firms to obtain bank loans, viz Credit rationing theory (Stiglitz & Weiss, 1981) versus Overlending/Credit excess theory (De Meza & Webb, 1987; 2000) which were then empirically tested  using French data on start-ups. The results show that credit rationing was not highly spread among French new firms and there appears to be more support for the overelnding theory of De Meza and Webb (1987). Finally, the paper identifies factors closely associated with credit rationing and overlending, such as firm characterisics (financial capital at the start and public aid), and entrepreneurs characteristics (the degree of human capital and experience).

 Does Self-Employment Contribute to a Good Work-Life Balance?

The second presentation was given by Peter van der Zwan from Erasmus School of Economics. This research focuses on the non-monetary benefits in self-employment such as life satisfaction,  well-being and work-life balance. Few studies have focused on how the occupational switch between paid employment and self-employment influences life satisfaction. The empirical analyses based on the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) show that switching to self-employment is significantly positively related to life satisfaction and work satisfaction. The results for work satisfaction are more pronounced and persistent than for life satisfaction. Furthermore, individuals who switch to self-employment experience significant decreases in leisure time satisfaction. More importantly, the self-employed’s dissatisfaction with leisure time outweighs their satisfaction with work, even after several years in self-employment, which puts their work-life balance under pressure.

 The influence of technology leveraging versus market leveraging alliances on entrepreneurial success

A presentation on the influence of different types of firm alliances on entrepreneurial performance was given by Annelies Bobelyn from Eindhoven University. This study uses theory on exploitative and explorative alliances to explain differences in entrepreneurial success, measured by cash-outs of firms. Both exploration and exploitation can occur at market and/or technology level. The objective of the paper is to extend research on the impact of alliances on firm performance by considering more hybrid/intermediate alliance types. The results show that entering in technology leveraging alliances is beneficial for entrepreneurial performance, while market leveraging alliances have a negative effect. Furthermore considering the sequencing of alliances: entering in technology leveraging / exploitation alliances first has a positive effect on the performance.

Strategizing, Absorptive Capacity and Ambidexterity in SMEs

The final  paper of the day was presented by Roy Broersma from Maastricht University and it addressed the strategic behaviour of CEOs and how it affects organizational ambidexterity in SMEs. The study reveiled that strategic planning of the CEO enhances an organizations ability to allocate means into both explorative as well as exploitative efforts (ambidexterity). This furthers our understanding of the role individual behavior plays in creating ambidextrous organizations by showing that strategic planning ensures efficient and effective resource usage. Building of organizational learning capabilities (in other words the absorptive capacity of firms) enables SMEs to deal with the tensions of ambidextrous innovation and as such mediates the relationship between strategic planning and organizational ambidexterity.

Future entrepreneurship research and a upcoming DARE events in Rotterdam and Utrecht

The seminar presented quite some food for thought, culminating in high interaction and new ideas. A need was expressed during the plenary discussion for more research on (the effectiveness of) entrepreneurship education. There is much data collection in Higher Education Institutes (e.g. the GUESSS survey, ad hoc surveys on entrepreneurial intentions and Alumni data) but overarching research is still lacking. Furthermore, the Dutch Centers for Entrepreneurship could benefit from joint efforts, exchanging best practices and scholarly input that helps improve the quality of entrepreneurship in The Netherlands. To respond to this need we will organize a next DARE event on the Knowledge Triangle (research, education and entrepreneurship) in collaboration with Utrecht School of Economics somewhere in the end of November 2015.

Another upcoming initiative responds to the call for more involvement from the Dutch professorships on entrepreneurship at the Universities of Applied Sciences. DARE is involved in a next event in Rotterdam in July, initiated by Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Erasmus Center of Entrepreneurship (ECE), that focuses on the revitalization of he Dutch SME sector and the (possible) role for Dutch professorships in entrepreneurship.

For these events we look forward to your input and/or initiatives so that we can align the efforts. For questions, comments, requests for the presentations or any other input please contact us at ne.devries@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

See you again at the next DARE event!