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  • Is the External Enabler Framework applicable beyond independent new venture creation?
    Yes, at least parts of the framework are obviously applicable to existing organizations and it may also be applicable to other levels of analysis and to comparison of differing contexts other than before vs. after change. Such applications can no doubt extract additional value out of the framework. However, the main application areas of the EE framework and concept are those where the enabling role remains in focus and where the outcomes addressed are successful emergence, growth, scaling, innovation, improved performance, and other indicators of positive development of entrepreneurial endeavors with the assistance of EEs. More information
  • Why should I study different types of change under the same concept?
    Within and across types of change, there is variance in scope and onset—what countries, industries and people are affected by the EE; the pace and predictability with which the change occurs; the specific mechanisms by which enablement occurs; and what role this enablement plays in firm development. These types of variance in change are likely to have generalizable strategic implications across types and instances of change. In contrast to past research providing dichotomous comparison of before vs. after a particular instance of a single type of change, the EE approach has much greater potential for strategically relevant knowledge accumulation. Aggregation to a broader perspective on enablement thus forces abstraction, which helps accumulation of insights. More information
  • Why should I study 'External Enablers'?
    The main argument for studying EEs is their importance for entrepreneurial action, strategy, and policy. Despite this importance, EEs have been given scant attention in entrepreneurship and strategy scholarship over past decades. Thus, there is knowledge-development that remains to be done and which stands out from what most other scholars are preoccupied with. More information
  • Why should I only focus on the enabling side?
    There are two reasons why the EE framework focuses solely on the enabling side of changes to the business environment. First, the EE concept was originally suggested as an alternative to ‘objective opportunity’ for addressing the attracting and outcome-enhancing influence of external conditions. Research on ‘opportunities’ is not mandated to balance the argument by addressing ‘non-opportunities’. Second, the primary vantage point for the framework is the not-yet-established venture. Such emerging entities are attracted to or even triggered by circumstances that facilitate their establishment and future performance; they do not flock to conditions that are detrimental to their becoming and existence. If research takes existing organizations and their current activities as the vantage point, negative effects of the change may also have to be considered (see, e.g., Klyver & Nielsen, 202X). However, such foci requires other conceptual tools than the EE framework. More information
  • What are 'External Enablers'?
    ‘External enabler’ (EE) is a collective label for non-trivial changes to the business environment—such as new technologies, regulatory changes, demographic and sociocultural trends, macroeconomic swings, and changes to the natural environment—which are expected to trigger, shape, or enhance some entrepreneurial pursuits. The basic assumption of the EE framework is that every change in the broader environment surrounding economic activity—regardless of the direction and magnitude of its total societal influence—will benefit some (potential) entrepreneurial pursuits even if it likely disadvantages some or even most other economic activities. More information
  • What is not an 'External Enabler'?
    Six important characteristics that explicate what is and what is not an EE. These are that EEs are 1) instances of change that are 2) disequilibrating, 3) distinct, 4) aggregate, 5) selectively enabling, and 6) construed as occurring independent of the focal agent. The emphasis on change in combinations with the assumptions that all non-trivial changes are disequilibrating makes EEs possible to identify without evidence of entrepreneurial action or success in their wake. The requirement of distinctiveness means that means that a contextual characteristic like environmental dynamism or market volatility are not EEs; however, enablement often occurs through a combination of (distinct) EEs, such as the Covid-19 health crises and the regulatory changes taken to combat it. Aggregate implies that several agents can benefit; it is not a ‘monopolized’ circumstance. Selectively enabling means that only certain types of ventures can benefit from a particular EE, nothing is an enabler in general. ‘Construed as external’ means that EE analysis chooses to focus on those benefitting from a change without having contributed to its occurrence. This is not to deny that those who develop new technologies or lobby for regulatory changes also can benefit entrepreneurially from these changes; it is just not the focus of the EE framework. More information
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