Theorising the Hidden Enterprise Culture: The Nature of Entrepreneurship in the Shadow Economy

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 14, No.3, pp. 334-348, 2011

15 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Sara Nadin

University of Liverpool

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This paper evaluates critically competing theories that variously represent entrepreneurship in the shadow economy as a residue from a previous mode of production (modernisation theory), a survival strategy for those marginalised from the circuits of the modern economy (structuralist theory), a voluntarily chosen endeavour pursued due to over-regulation in the legitimate economy (neo-liberal theory) or a practice chosen for social, redistributive, resistance or identity reasons (post-structuralist theory). Reporting evidence from 861 face-to-face interviews in English localities, it is shown that no one theory is universally applicable. Instead, all are revealed to be valid with regard to various forms of shadow entrepreneurship, and only by integrating them is it possible to develop a finer-grained more inclusive comprehension of this multi-faceted and complex hidden enterprise culture.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, enterprise culture, enterprise development, business start-up, informal sector, shadow economy, underground economy, tax non-compliance, England

JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Nadin, Sara, Theorising the Hidden Enterprise Culture: The Nature of Entrepreneurship in the Shadow Economy (2011). International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 14, No.3, pp. 334-348, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290016 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2290016

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Sara Nadin

University of Liverpool ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZH
United Kingdom

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