Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
Abstracts > Abstract Details JDE

Abstract Details

Individual Perception of Business Contexts:
Vol. Volume 7, Number 3 October/2002

Stein Kristiansen (Dr.oecon., Associate Professor)
The article presents two case studies of small-scale business innovators in Tanzania. The focus is on individual entrepreneurs’ conception of their contexts as enabling environments for entrepreneurial endeavor. The objective is to identify regional qualities of importance for business progress and success. Based on some general entrepreneurship theory, the business efforts of the two entrepreneurs are analyzed in accordance with a simple model conceptualizing the entrepreneurs’ contexts. The ‘Value and needs context’ has an influence on individual motivation and business objectives. The ‘Opportunity context’ consists of available natural resources, information, skills, capital, labor, infrastructure and markets. The ‘Bureaucracy context’ limits the scope of entrepreneurial striving and success. Administrative maze and lack of trustworthiness are examples. It is underlined that the geographical context for business innovators is not objective, but should be understood from the individual entrepreneur’s point of view. The article concludes that policies for encouraging small-scale entrepreneurs should be based on an understanding of their specific objectives and environments, from their own point of view. Economic geography combined with social anthropology

Keywords: