Title: Toward a paradigm of symbiotic entrepreneurship

Authors: Leo Paul Dana, Hamid Etemad, Richard W. Wright

Addresses: University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. ' McGill University, 1001 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Canada. ' University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, 110 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095–1481, USA

Abstract: Entrepreneurship often involves independent firms that compete with one another. In this article, we discuss an alternate entrepreneurship strategy, one involving symbiosis – an approach that allows entrepreneurs and their firms to benefit from a multi-polar distribution of power and control. We believe that this is especially helpful in the process of internationalisation. Rather than focusing on the internationalisation of a centralised firm with a uni-polar distribution of power and control, we suggest that the world is moving toward multi-polar networks of firms. As corporations out-source to smaller, specialised firms, power and control are becoming increasingly divided among independent firms that cooperate voluntarily for increased efficiency and profit. Symbiotic relationships are thus leading to multi-polarity, and we are moving beyond a focus on the firm – toward a focus on relationships with multi-polar networks involving symbiotic relationships.

Keywords: symbiotic entrepreneurship; symbiosis; bazaar; new economy; strategic alliances; cooperation; relationships; symbiotic marketing; multi-polarity; internationalisation; entrepreneurship strategy; multi-polar networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2008.016587

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2008 Vol.5 No.2, pp.109 - 126

Published online: 11 Jan 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article