Assessing Embedded Agency of Entrepreneurs in Context of Internationalization and Innovation: An Exploratory Research

  •  Xavier Lesage    
  •  Sébastien Ronteau    


Tradition is a continuous process of innovation”. This sentence is a leitmotiv for Kotaro Nishibori, one of the last Japanese entrepreneurs in the wagasa sector (Japanese traditional umbrellas). Based on the symbolic path of this entrepreneur, this exploratory research investigates embedded dynamics in which the entrepreneur involves himself and his firm, and which conduct a simultaneous two-sided development of its traditional workshop to a global firm acting by/on a continuous innovation process. Based on a neo-institutional framework and literature on entrepreneurial bricolage, we reveal few insights regarding entrepreneur’s embedded agency. As the entrepreneur involves himself in social networks, he gets access to resources, which reveal his proactive competencies and in return extend his network. Globalization process based on continuous innovation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) can be viewed as the result of strategic trial and error process, in which the entrepreneur plays a critical role.

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