Value for whom? Exploring the value of informal entrepreneurial activities in post-socialist contexts

Welter, Friederike and Xheneti, Mirela (2015) Value for whom? Exploring the value of informal entrepreneurial activities in post-socialist contexts. In: McElwee, Gerard and Smith, Robert (eds.) Exploring criminal and illegal enterprise: new perspectives on research, policy & practice. Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, 5 . Emerald Group Publishing. ISBN 9781784415518

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The aim of this chapter is to advance an understanding of the value of informal entrepreneurial activities in relation to context using an institutional perspective arguing that heterogeneity in institutional embeddedness affects the value individuals attach to entrepreneurial actions.

We draw empirically on 100 interviews with individuals engaged in informal cross border activities in eight EU border regions across four countries that have experienced changes of regulatory, economic and social nature.

The analysis offers important insights on how three institutional logics – market, state and community, guide entrepreneurial action at the micro-level and affect value creation. Our evidence supports the use of these activities to fulfil important economic functions and to nurture family and social relations in closely-knit communities. Differences in the embeddedness of individuals in each of these logics contributed to their perception of the value of their informal entrepreneurial actions along economic and social dimensions at the individual, community and society level and also at the short and long run.

Our main contributions lie in extending discussions of economic and social value of informal entrepreneurial activities and in providing a dynamic view of the value of informal entrepreneurial activities that accounts for changes or shifts in institutional logics, the responses they generate and the value created as a result.

Keywords: entrepreneurial behaviour, informality, post-socialist context, value, institutions

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Mirela Xheneti
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2014 16:18
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2015 14:18
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