On this page, I present abstracts of work in review — in a pretty random manner. This is to give some idea of the people I work with and the detail of what my work is about: complexity theory, innovation, new technology, creative industries, digital media, entrepreneurial identity. More details on where the work can be found is on the Publications page [or email me :>) ]
Emergence in Entrepreneurial contexts: process and materiality
Lorraine Warren, Ted Fuller, Paul Argyle
The paper takes an ‘emergence’ perspective as a way to understand entrepreneurial processes that give rise to innovation. We argue that in order to understand how innovation is produced from entrepreneurial processes, the nature of the emergent properties, relative to extant structures need to be understood, whether by observers in research or by the actors themselves. We apply this perspective to a longitudinal analysis of a case study of the development of a new business model within an entrepreneurial firm. The main theoretical contribution is in the demonstration of how entrepreneurial agency is effected in relation to the disruption of social structure and social change. Our central argument is that emergent forms (or ‘emergents’) may be short lived (ephemeral) but have causal power on the performance of the actors in the system of inter-relationships in the innovation ecosystem. As the theoretical posit has been expressed operationally as a framework for data collection and analysis, we are also able to make a methodological contribution to the study of multifaceted, multilevel phenomena. As to practice, we argue that better understanding of emergents may lead to better understanding of the management of emergents in small entrepreneurial firms, particularly those in fast-moving contexts where disruption of industry structures is possible, but only through agility, where the firm has no control over large industry regulators or industry incumbents.
The Individual’s Influence on LT Innovation in Small Firms: Explicating Objects, Mechanisms and Causal Powers from the Perspective of Critical Realism
Muhammad Nouman and Lorraine Warren
Low-tech (LT) innovation, like other forms of innovation has its own dimensions and characteristics. This study offers a much needed understanding of the influence of key individuals (owner and manager) within small firms on LT innovation. The literature review on firm-level determinants of LT innovation reveals that the research has traditionally drawn from the positivist approach (67% studies) followed by the constructivist paradigm (20% studies). While 49 different firm-level determinants of LT innovation are identified, only 9 amongst these are related to the key individual suggesting a lack of research. Advocating the need for a critical realist view this research elucidates the objects/entities (individuals and their roles), mechanisms (ways in which objects influence an event such as occurrence or non-occurrence of LT innovation) and causal powers (individual determinants of LT innovation). The case study approach and mixed methods are employed to investigate two cases (marble sectors) in the north-west regions of Pakistan. Findings reveal that the more the interests and stakes of owner and manager diverge the lesser the instance of LT innovation. A role-ordered matrix is presented and explanations are offered in terms of individuals’ professional characteristics, nature of business stake and individual traits.
CHANGE OF PARADIGM? RECONSIDERING THE TECHNOLOGY FEASIBILITY POINT
Veit Dominik Kunz, Lorraine Warren
The Technology Feasibility Point (TFP) has been defined in the literature on product development cycles (PDC) in technology firms as the transition point between the pre-development (PDEV) phase and the New Product Development phase (NPD). The literature suggests that the TFP represents a critical process checkpoint, a in regard to choice and resource allocation. However, it is not well characterised in the literature. We therefore carried out an exploratory study with 19 companies to support and define a future research agenda.
Networks and spatiality of university incubators: global and local resource linkages
Lorraine Warren, Fumi Kitagawa
This study examines the dynamics of network formation and the spatial relationships of firms that are members of university-based technology incubators. Existing work on university entrepreneurship tends to focus narrowly on the formation of firms, or incubator management. This paper draws on the resource-based view to examine the dynamics of spatiality and the interactions of resources that take place between the two different levels of analysis, in relation to the wider context. Using network visualisation methods and qualitative case studies, we analyse the spatial patterns of collaboration among and within firms that are supported by one of the university incubator partnership programmes in the UK. We conclude that better understanding of spatiality could aid better management of early-stage entrepreneurial firms.
Entrepreneur or villain? A Kantian reflection on entrepreneurial identity and media ethics
Lorrainme Warren, Rob Smith
In this paper, we examine the social construction of a controversial entrepreneur, Vance Miller, referred to in the British press as the ‘Kitchen Gangster’. We contrast this press image with an internet-hosted narrative constructed by Miller to address his critics. The rapid rise of Miller, from criminal obscurity to the status of serial entrepreneur is a compelling tale of entrepreneurial identity where paradoxical themes of entrepreneurship and criminality, heroism and notoriety intertwine. Kant’s concept of reflective judgement is used to develop conclusions that contribute to understanding of how society views and legitimises entrepreneurial activity. In doing so, we contribute to the literatures on entrepreneurial identity and morality.