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Entrepreneurial co-creation: A call for fresh ideas and innovative perspectives


Whilst previous seminal papers on entrepreneurship (i.e. Cantillon, 1755; Schumpeter,  1912; Knight, 1921; Kirzner, 1973; Shapero, 1975; Kets de Vries, 1977; Brockhaus, 1980) and numerous other contemporary studies in this still fledgling research stream are predominantly centred on the novel endeavours of individual entrepreneurs (Dana et al., 2008), the contemporary network economy (Asanuma, 2013; Kollmann and Christofor, 2014) accentuates on entrepreneurial collaboration with their key stakeholders (Burns et al., 2014) in order to co-create value through entrepreneurial initiatives. Therefore, the “theories of entrepreneurship (that) most typically focus on characteristics specific to the individual” (Acs et al., 2013, p. 759), often overlook the potentials of entrepreneurs’ stakeholder networks to identify entrepreneurial opportunities. Although, the process of stakeholder engagement benefits entrepreneurs to identify opportunities, there is limited work on the contexts that help entrepreneurs to influence their stakeholder networks, and even less research on how entrepreneurs could influence the relations between stakeholder engagement and value co-creating opportunity identification (Burns et al., 2014). Value creation is enhanced by inter-organisational collaborations, where stakeholders collaborate for improved strategic efficacy to meet and exceed their mutually beneficial multifarious goals through co-created value (Gummesson and Mele, 2010; Grönroos, 2012; Jaakola and Hakanen, 2013; Hsiao et al., 2015). Consequently, the significance of stakeholder relationships and interactions in a network and flourishing opportunities from such stakeholder networks become crucial for entrepreneurs to co-create value, in order to survive and prosper.

Entrepreneurs’ stakeholder networks can offer a substantial source of capital that may increase entrepreneurs’ success (Smith and Lohrke, 2008). Therefore, entrepreneurship as a panacea for economic progress is increasingly focusing on the importance of stakeholder networks (Hayter, 2013). Transcending a purely economic perspective, “more and more, business enterprises are the vehicle being used by communities of people in pursuit of sustainable prosperity as they define it, and this definition goes far beyond simple economic criteria. As a result, these enterprises are not always or even often businesses in the classic capitalist, or neo-classic economic sense. Rather they are enterprises with much broader goals, many of them social/cultural/environmental rather than economic, and they exhibit diverse forms of ownership, organization and operation” (Journal of Enterprising Communities, nd, np). These enterprising communities relate, for example, to social businesses, social marketing, businesses of various co-operative societies, co-operative banks, farmers’ unions, micro-financing and micro-credit initiatives of and for various communities, and similar other entrepreneurial initiatives of community-based enterprises aimed at socio-economic betterment of their entire community.

However, reflecting a major research gap, “despite the growing acknowledgement that entrepreneurship is an important driver of innovation and growth, the role of the networks in these processes has been less formally examined” (Huggins and Thompson, 2015, p. 103). As a consequence, the research question as to “how entrepreneurial firms leverage network competence” (Yu et el., 2014, p. 687) is becoming central for future enquiries in the contemporary entrepreneurship research. Drawing from  network approach of value co-creation, new thoughts, competences and skills are required for entrepreneurs, and a new set of expectations of what entrepreneurs can and should do relating to aspects of  acceptability, legitimacy and reputation (Czinkota et al., 2014). Thus, this special issue welcomes fresh ideas and innovative perspectives on how entrepreneurs can influence and manage their stakeholders through the causes and effects of their relationships and stakeholder interactions to collaboratively design and realign processes, in order to co-create value. This “entrepreneurial co-creation”, as we call it,  will identify, establish, maintain and enhance opportunities and win-win outcomes centred on the entrepreneurs’ knack and passion to mutually create value in support of their stakeholders.

The Themes

Entrepreneurship and the associated dynamics have been evolving persistently, based on the mutual endeavours of academics and reflective entrepreneurs’ practice-based contributions. In this era of competition, driven by market intelligence, the successful entrepreneurial initiatives are substantiated by market competitiveness, cost effectiveness and social acceptability. Different market issues and competitive forces are influencing the entrepreneurial dynamics. From time to time, dizzily swift changing market issues and challenges expose limitations of existing strategies to successfully deal with market competition. As mentioned before, in response to such limitations, entrepreneurial efforts in practice, coupled with academic research contributed to the evolution of the entrepreneurship discipline by pro-actively and collaboratively tackling the varying market issues, challenges and needs. From this perspective, this special issue particularly invites research articles that bridge the existing gaps between entrepreneurship’s theoretical conceptions and practical propositions, through both, the implications of theories on business practices, as well as practice-based theorisation. Innovative empirical and conceptual studies that span theoretical boundaries and disciplines to develop new insights on “entrepreneurial co-creation” are welcomed to be submitted. The following might be relevant, but not exhaustive topics:

- historical and contemporary perspectives of entrepreneurship and value co-creation;
- impact of entrepreneurship theory and practice on value co-creation;
- impact of dynamic capabilities of entrepreneurs and their stakeholders on value co-creation;
- the role of entrepreneurship in enterprising culture, value network and co-creation;
- entrepreneurial innovation and value co-creation;
- the role of entrepreneurship in stakeholder relationship management and value co-creation;
- entrepreneurial initiatives, competitive advantage and value co-creation;
- entrepreneurial initiatives, organisational performance and value co-creation;
- technological innovation, web 2.0 and entrepreneurial co-creation;
- international entrepreneurship, cross-cultural issues and value co-creation;
- social entrepreneurship and value co-creation;
- interdisciplinary and cross-functional implications in entrepreneurial co-creation;
- entrepreneurial ethics and value co-creation;
- entrepreneurship, business sustainability and co-creation;
- SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurial co-creation;
- corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial co-creation;
- influences of communities to form/reform non-traditional enterprises and entrepreneurial co-creation;
- entrepreneurial communities
- other key issues and challenges in entrepreneurial co-creation.

The focus of the manuscripts should be on cutting-edge theoretical developments and phenomena including best entrepreneurial practices. Alongside the open submissions, selected papers from the 8th Annual EuroMed Academy of Business Conference, Verona, Italy, September 16 – 18 2015 will be considered for this special issue.

Guidelines for authors

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy (JEC) is published by Emerald. All papers submitted to the JEC will undergo a double-blind peer review process. The manuscripts should be structured in line with the guidelines, available at http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=jec , and need to be submitted online through the ScholarOne system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jec . Please select the “Entrepreneurial co-creation: A call for fresh ideas and innovative perspectives” special issue from the drop-down menu for your submission. Informal enquiries are valued, and can be directed to the guest editors.

Manuscript submission deadline

January 31, 2017

Guest editors and contact details

Professor Hans Ruediger Kaufmann
University of Nicosia, Cyprus, Kaufmann.r@unic.ac.cy

Dr S M Riad Shams
University of Newcastle, Australia, S.MRiad.Shams@uon.edu.au


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Asanuma, D. (2013), “Lending attitude as a financial acceleration in a credit network economy”, Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 231 – 247. 

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Burns, B., Barney, B., Angus. R. and Herrick, H. N. (2014), “Opportunity identification and stakeholder enrolment under conditions of risk and uncertainty”, available at: http://proceedings.aom.org/content/2014/1/17416.abstract (accessed 02 June, 2015).
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