The Influence of the Work Environment on Entrepreneurial Learning of Small-business Owners

Lans, Thomas, Biemans, Harm, Verstegen, Jos and Mulder, Martin (2008) The Influence of the Work Environment on Entrepreneurial Learning of Small-business Owners. Management Learning, 39 (5). pp. 597-613. doi:10.1177/1350507608098117

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Despite the widely acknowledged importance of entrepreneurial learning, research specifically addressing the question of what fosters this process is still in poor supply. In the present study, entrepreneurial learning was conceptualised as a distinct type of workplace learning, emphasising the role of the work environment in performing entrepreneurial tasks by owner/managers. A qualitative study was conducted among a specific sample of 25 small-business owners in an innovative, successful sector in the Netherlands: greenhouse horticulture. In-depth semi-structured interviews were held focussing on critical incidents as they arose around a pursued business opportunity. Four factors were identified as being crucial in the entrepreneurial learning process, namely: support and guidance, external interaction, internal communication, and task characteristics. Furthermore, the results showed that different types of business opportunities presented different dynamics for entrepreneurial learning. Finally, the results suggested a two-layered interaction between learner and work environment. Entrepreneurial learning is influenced by the work environment, which is in turn shaped and defined by the entrepreneur.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: entrepreneurship learning small business work environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Ineke Tijsma
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 10:49
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 15:30

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