Volume 3, 2002
Ethics and Entrepreneurship
Jeffrey S. Harrison
A Stakeholder Perspective of Entrepreneurial Activity
Beyond Normative Theory
Venkataraman (2000) described entrepreneurship as a method for resolving stakeholder value anomalies. His description provides strong normative support for encouraging entrepreneurship in society on the basis of reducing inequities and promoting social harmony. However, a stakeholder perspective of entrepreneurship also has the potential to provide a flexible and comprehensive description of the entrepreneurial process through its various stages. In addition, a stakeholder perspective, combined with resource-based theory, can help researchers in identifying factors that lead to entrepreneurial success or failure. Specifically, stakeholder configurations created by entrepreneurs, because they are complex social systems, will be hard for competitors to imitate. If particular configurations are useful and enhance performance, they can lead to sustainable competitive advantages for the organizations these entrepreneurs create.