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Prior employment as a causal mechanism within entrepreneurial ecosystems


  • Kevin Walsh


The entrepreneurial ecosystems literature lists numerous factors, emphasizing their interactions. However, there is limited empirical literature exploring the causal mechanisms, nor an understanding of the relative importance of these factors. This paper places the entrepreneur at the centre of the analysis by constructing a career history network of over 2100 Irish high-tech entrepreneurs. It finds that prior employment experience can be used to measure the prominence of different actors anticipated in the entrepreneurial ecosystem literature. Regional universities play an anchor role within each regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. Universities are indirectly connected to other organizations to form an integrated network that supports high-tech entrepreneurship. This approach may be used to assess and motivate interventions to support integration and anchor organization establishment that enhances regional entrepreneurial activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Walsh, 2019. "Prior employment as a causal mechanism within entrepreneurial ecosystems," Regional Studies, Regional Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 637-645, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsrsxx:v:6:y:2019:i:1:p:637-645
    DOI: 10.1080/21681376.2019.1691047

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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Bruno & Meissner, Dirk & Vonortas, Nicholas & Guerrero, Maribel, 2022. "Spatial features of entrepreneurial ecosystems," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 27-36.

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