Indigenous Entrepreneurship Research: Themes and Variations
DEVELOPMENTAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: ADVERSITY, RISK, AND ISOLATION, C. S. Galbraith & C. H. Stiles, eds., Elsevier, pp. 253-273, 2006
32 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2008 Last revised: 29 Dec 2013
Date Written: July 2, 2006
The purpose of this paper is to offer an overview of the current study of indigenous entrepreneurship. First, while there is broad agreement on the application of the term "indigenous," there are differences of emphasis and outright controversies about empirical description of indigenous people, especially concerning the role of ownership and private property in their culture and traditions. Second, the concept of entrepreneurship is as controversial in this field as elsewhere in management studies. There are fundamental disagreements as to how flexible the requirements of entrepreneurship are, and whether true indigenous entrepreneurship can transform entrepreneurship into an authentic and distinctive form. Third, the concept of indigenous entrepreneurship as a total concept is open to debate and discussion. Not only does it inherit the question of whether the notion of entrepreneurship can be culturally transformed, there is also a difference of approach concerning the location and ultimate goals of indigenous entrepreneurship. Fourth, there are a number of critical discussion points related to indigenous populations, and in turn, their relationship to entrepreneurial activities and enterprises. These include, but are not limited to, the pursuit of multiple goals, including social objectives; the notion of collective organization, ownership and outcomes; and a population's association with the land, characteristically leading to a high degree of environmental sensitivity, drawing on traditional knowledge and fostered by a sense of spiritual connection with the land and its resources. The theme of partnerships involving indigenous enterprises with other indigenous enterprises and non-indigenous bodies, is recognized as a vital topic demanding further attention.
Keywords: indigenous entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, indigenous, development
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