“Context always matters!” – DARE research seminar at the VU Amsterdam


Thank you for organizing the excellent DARE seminar yesterday. What a great turnout, program, and interaction!” was one of the reactions after the 10th DARE research seminar on December 2 at the VU Amsterdam. Indeed, an even higher than expected number of participants attended the event, and there was a splendid atmosphere for discussing research. The program was focused around the often-adduced theme: the context of entrepreneurship.

Neil Thompson (VU Amsterdam) chaired the session and addressed the importance of the topic. He started the seminar stating that scholars in general, and editors of influential journals in particular, pointed out the need for a more process-orientated approach to entrepreneurship. He introduced us to ‘practice oriented theory’ and we learned about the importance of activity, performance, and work in the creation and perpetuation of entrepreneurial practices.

Find the welcoming word here and the presentation here.

Second Katrin Smolka (Erasmus University Rotterdam) took us on an interesting journey in the world of drones. Within this context of a new and developing industry, regulation and conduct are still in development. The reciprocity between different actors in this context (e.g. businesses and legislators/authorities) is shaping the landscape and this is still an ongoing process. The need for more dynamic approaches to model these conditions was evident.

For the presentation please contact the author(s).

Next up was Nardo de Vries (Maastricht University) who introduced the context of ‘nano’ businesses for innovative processes. He dove into the vast and growing world of solo self-employment trying to distinguish the more Schumpetarian-type of entrepreneurs. Employing a resource based perspective he explained that the type of cooperation mattered for the way that innovative output was achieved.

Please click here for the presentation.

Carla Costa (Utrecht University) presented a more economic historical story about the emergence of a cluster. Investigating the particularities of a technological cluster in Portugal evolving around ‘metal molds’, she found that the entrepreneurial activity, manifested as a large number of spinoffs was very high. Contextual factors helped explaining these developments.

For the presentation please contact the author(s).

The last presentation was from Marco van Gelderen (VU Amsterdam). In his own witty style he was able to present us the peculiar contextual differences of entrepreneurship in Russia compared to the Netherlands. By using anecdotes from research conducted in both countries, he presented outcomes that among others stipulated context differences like particularism versus universalism; autonomy versus necessity; ‘survival of the fittest’ versus passionate etc.

For the presentation please contact the author(s).

The dissemination was ‘wrapped up’ and ‘placed in context’ by a panel discussion with involvement of the audience. Panel members Roy Thurik (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Davide Ianuzzi (VU University), and Michel Ehrenhard (University of Twente) discussed questions like: How important is context and technological development for entrepreneurship? And what (new) methods do we need to properly investigate the contextual aspects of entrepreneurship?

All in all this 10th DARE research seminar led to great insights and plenty of food for thought that hopefully opens up new avenues for research and collaboration, also within DARE! Perhaps this can already be witnessed during a next DARE event organized in collaboration with NIKOS, University of Twente in Spring 2016.

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!