Cantner, Uwe Cunningham, James Lehmann, Erik Menter, Matthias
Year of Publication:
Jena Economic Research Papers No. 2019-008
The concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems has been used as a framework to explain entrepreneurial activities within regions and industrial sectors. Despite the usefulness of this approach, the concept is under-theorized, especially with regard to the evolution of entrepreneurial ecosystems. The current literature is lacking a theoretical foundation that addresses the development and change of entrepreneurial ecosystems over time and does not consider the inherent dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems that lead to their birth, growth, maturity, decline and re-emergence. Taking an industry lifecycle perspective, this paper addresses this research gap by elaborating a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem lifecycle model. We propose that an ecosystem transitions from an entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a focus on new firm creation, towards a business ecosystem, with a core focus on the internal commercialization of knowledge, i.e. intrapreneurial activities, and vice versa. Our dynamic model thus captures the oscillation that occurs among entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs through the different phases of an ecosystem's lifecycle. Our dynamic lifecycle model may thus serve as a starting point for future empirical studies focusing on ecosystems and provide the basis for a further understanding of the interrelatedness between and co-existence of new and incumbent firms.