Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)


Relevant Theories in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Research: An Overview

Author(s): Clavis Nwehfor Fubah and Menisha Moos

Entrepreneurial ecosystems have recently gained the attention of scholars, although the concept remains elusive, underdeveloped, under-theorised and with no generally accepted definition. There have been calls for further theorisation of the concept and the testing of existing theories. Despite these calls, it has been identified that some researchers failed to ground their research in specific, pre-acknowledged grounding theories. Perhaps, this could be because there are no verified studies that have focused on such theories. These theories include the cluster theory, process theory, resource dependence theory, social capital theory, systems theory, network theory, knowledge spillover theory, stakeholder theory and social capital theory. The purpose of this article was, therefore, to provide an overview of the theories relevant to entrepreneurial ecosystems due to the lack of research on such theories. The managerial implication of the findings is that the different actors and role-players within an entrepreneurial ecosystem should stay related and interconnected to function optimally and holistically. The theoretical implication of the paper is the outlining of the relevant theories which can be used as guidance when grounding entrepreneurial ecosystems research, as well as the various scenarios in which these theories can be applied. The research contributes by informing early researchers on the relevant theories which can be used in understanding entrepreneurial ecosystems.

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