Title: Uncertainty, innovation, and entrepreneurial functions: working out an entrepreneurial management approach

Authors: Jorg Freiling

Addresses: LEMEX – Chair for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, SCOUT Institute for Competence-based Strategic Management, University of Bremen, Wilhelm-Herbst-Strasse 5, D-28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract: Uncertainty goes along with entrepreneurial opportunities and risks as well. The research question of this paper is how to take the chances of innovations in an uncertain and volatile world where risks can destroy the innovations| profit potentials immediately. The paper presents a managerial framework based on entrepreneurship theory (in particular the entrepreneurial functions) that helps to manage the complex interplay of innovation and uncertainty to explain economic performance. By now, the discourse on the entrepreneurial functions referred to the market/industry and the personal level (traits). This paper transfers the findings to the firm level by introducing a new multi-functional system of entrepreneurship. The respective functions are innovation, coordination, market-making, and risk management. The execution of these functions enables the firm as the unit of analysis to renew the organisation, to exploit the innovation potentials, and to protect the firm from negative consequences of uncertainty.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial functions; innovation; uncertainty; theory of the firm; entrepreneurial management; coordination; risk management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2009.023265

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2009 Vol.5 No.1, pp.22 - 35

Published online: 16 Feb 2009 *

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