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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Understanding Enterprise

Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Edition 4th Edition
ISBN 9780230308091
Publication Date December 2012
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

The emergence of an enterprise culture and entrepreneurial economy has led to the rapid development of theories, policies and practices in the field of entrepreneurship. Understanding Enterprise provides a critical introduction to enterprise in its broadest context, particularly its application to business through entrepreneurship and small business. The book is divided into three distinct parts, which examine traditional approaches to entrepreneurship, new perspectives on the subject, and the success or otherwise of government policy.

Key features:
- Extensively revised to take into account the latest thinking and research
- Reassessment of traditional views and a critique of conventional wisdom
- Updated coverage of the impact and failings of comparative government policies
- A good balance between theoretical and practical perspectives

Understanding Enterprise is an essential companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students of entrepreneurship. Policy makers and practitioners will also benefit from this comprehensive guide.

Simon Bridge has been involved in formulating, delivering and/or assessing enterprise policy for nearly 30 years, most recently as an enterprise and economic development consultant and before that as the Enterprise Director of a small business agency. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster. His other books include Rethinking Enterprise Policy: Can Failure Trigger New Understanding? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and, co-written with Brendan Murtagh and Ken O'Neill, Understanding the Social Economy and the Third Sector (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Ken O'Neill is Professor Emeritus at the University of Ulster, a former President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), a member of the Steering Committee of the International Small Business Congress (ISBC), a former President of the UK's Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), and is a Director of The Genesis Initiative. In 2005 he became the first person to receive The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion – Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also co-written Understanding the Social Economy and the Third Sector (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) with Simon Bridge and Brendan Murtagh.

PART ONE: The Evolution of Enterprise Understanding
CHAPTER 1: Introduction Understanding Enterprise
CHAPTER 2: A Brief History of Enterprise Understanding
CHAPTER 3: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: Their Meanings and Variations
CHAPTER 4: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: Understanding Their Nature
CHAPTER 5: Small Businesses: Their Characteristics and Variety
CHAPTER 6: Small Businesses: Understanding Their Dynamics
CHAPTER 7: Social Enterprise and the Third Sector

PART TWO: Challenges to the Traditional View
CHAPTER 8: Rethinking Small Business
CHAPTER 9: Rethinking Entrepreneurship
CHAPTER 10: Enterprise and life
CHAPTER 11: Becoming an Entrepreneur
CHAPTER 12: Running a Small Business
CHAPTER 13: Social Capital and the Enterprise Mix

PART THREE: Enterprise Policy and Government Intervention
CHAPTER 14: Why Governments Intervene: The Aims of Enterprise Policy
CHAPTER 15: Enterprise Policy: Approaches and Delivery Methods
CHAPTER 16: Does the Policy Work?
CHAPTER 17: What Might Work?
CHAPTER 18: The Impact of Change



The fourth edition of this book is a wonderful example of continuous innovation as it builds upon previous editions by adding additional layers of depth and knowledge. It is also evident throughout the book that the authors utilize their vast experience as practitioners and academics to bring the reader excellent insights into the varying perspectives held by different stakeholders. My recommendation is based upon my actions - I have already ordered the book for my forthcoming classes.' Professor Thomas Cooney, Academic Director - Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland and President of the International Council for Small Business
'The significance of entrepreneurship and small business to economy and society are now widely documented and is reflected in the activities of governments, educational institutions and research institutes. This book makes a significant step in helping us analyze the underlying dynamics of entrepreneurship and its effects on the economy in an original and engaging way. It addresses a number of salient issues, from an examination of the people starting and running businesses through to the effectiveness of government interventions, in an authoritative and stimulating style. Each chapter tackles issues that should resonate with a number of audiences and is underpinned by contemporary research. Bridge and O'Neill have provided us with a book that is flowing with ideas and concepts, often challenging the conventional wisdom. The book is an essential read for those interested in the field of entrepreneurship and small business. Certainly it is a must read for students, researchers, advisers, business owners, policy makers and others seeking to understand entrepreneurship and small business.'Professor Robert Blackburn, Kingston Business School, UK and Editor International Small Business Journal
'This book is a tour de force in the study and practice of entrepreneurship. It offers new perspectives in a fresh, innovative way and challenges old thinking. A must for students and academics.'Spinder Dhaliwal, author of Making a Fortune – Learning from the Asian Phenomenon and Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, UK
'Understanding Enterprise, 4th edition is a must read for students, researchers, educators and policy makers. Bridge and O'Neill's discussion of small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures is strengthened throughout by their use of key concepts and learning objectives. Finally, the book's treatment of policy and government interventions is spot on. A must read.'George T. Solomon, Associate Professor of Management and Co-Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), The George Washington University, USA and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Small Business Management
Praise for the 3rd edition:
'This volume is a welcome new edition of a highly successful and well acclaimed text, written by authors who combine a strong academic pedigree with practical application. As such, it represents one of the best foundation texts for students of small business and entrepreneurship and an excellent building block for subsequent specialised study. At the same time, its clarity of organisation and uncluttered style makes it accessible to all.' – David Smallbone, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Associate Director of the Small Business Research Centre at Kingston University, UK
'This book is fresh and innovative and is true to the real sense of the entrepreneurial spirit in that it encourages thinking out of the box. The authors have managed to combine substance, depth and creativity.' – Spinder Dhaliwal, Author of Making a Fortune - Learning from the Asian Phenomenon; Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Surrey, UK
'This text provides a valuable combination of theoretical and practical perspectives in this essential area of business studies. It goes beyond the usual 'how to start a new business' approach to address the wider economic and policy implications. The authors consolidate many of the key debates in enterprise studies (e.g. are entrepreneurs made or born?) and provide a wealth and variety of bite-sized case studies and examples drawn from SMEs and larger organisations. The text will be useful to students, academics and policy makers as well as business leaders. This new edition incorporates fresh and useful sections on the stages of business formation without sacrificing its overall theoretical rigour.' – Peter Vlachos, Senior Lecturer, Business School, University of Greenwich, UK
'This is a very comprehensive and practical book giving us real and deep insight into entrepreneurship and small business. The new edition of Understanding Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Small Business enriches the field, putting more attention on competitive entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship.' – Professor Kiril Todorov, Chairman, Bulgarian Association for Management Development and Entrepreneurship (BAMDE); Professor of Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria
'Understanding Enterprise provides a very comprehensive overview of the landscape of small business, enterprise and entrepreneurship, dealing with issues of definition, relationships, features and contributions to personal, social and economic development … The authors have done an excellent job of integrating and linking the existing knowledge base about small business, enterprise and entrepreneurship, outlining the different typologies of enterprise and small business, presenting the internal and external factors and influences which give rise to their emergence and development within society (both at the individual and firm level) and providing key insights to policymakers and other professionals working to support the 'enterprise phenomenon.' – Lois Stevenson, Visiting Research Fellow, International Development Research Centre, Middle East Regional Office, Cairo, Egypt
'This is a very comprehensive book, embracing the essence of enterprise and entrepreneurship. It is a must for everyone who is interested in the fascinating world of entrepreneurship and small business.' – Rob van der Horst, Past President, International Council for Small Business ICSB
'Earlier editions of this text have gained it a deserved place as a leading student text on entrepreneurship. This third edition cements that position by taking the more challenging position that policies have not 'had the effect intended in improving rates of entrepreneurship'. The text needs to be read not only by students but also by all public officials charged with making their country more entrepreneurial.'- David Storey, Associate Dean ofResearch and Director of the Centre for SMEs, Warwick Business School, UK
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