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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Understanding Enterprise

Entrepreneurs and Small Business

Edition 5th Edition
ISBN 9781137584540
Publication Date October 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

Now in its fifth edition, Understanding Enterprise has established itself as one of the most widely respected guides to the discipline, providing a refreshingly perceptive approach to understanding and applying theory. It offers a critical introduction to enterprise in its broadest context, with particular emphasis on its application to entrepreneurs and small business. Divided into three parts, the course examines traditional approaches, new perspectives on the subject, and the success—or otherwise—of government policy.

Written by leading experts with a combined wealth of research, teaching and consulting experience, this textbook will be an essential companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students of enterprise and small business. Policy makers and practitioners will also benefit from this comprehensive guide.

Key features: 
  • A balanced overview of both theoretical and practical perspectives
  • Reassessment of traditional views and a critique of conventional wisdom
  • Questions, exercises and essay and discussion topics for each chapter, enabling students to develop strong subject knowledge and critical evaluation skills
  • Stimulating mini cases and innovative examples to help students understand the mind-set required for successful enterprising behaviour
  • A companion website featuring a range of resources for both students and instructors, including PowerPoint slides, multiple choice questions, additional case studies and model solutions to problems
New to this edition: 
  • Extensively revised to take into account the latest thinking and research, with updated content and examples throughout
  • Updated coverage of the impact and failings of comparative government policies
  • Enhanced pedagogical features to engage students and enliven their learning experience.

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.

1. Introduction Understanding Enterprise
2. A Brief History of Enterprise Understanding
3. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: Their Meanings and Variations
4. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: Understanding Their Nature
5. Small Businesses: Their Characteristics and Variety
6. Small Businesses: Understanding their Dynamics
7. Social Enterprise and the Third Sector PART II: CHALLENGES TO THE TRADITIONAL VIEW
8. Rethinking Small Business
9. Rethinking Entrepreneurship
10. Enterprise and Life
11. Becoming an Entrepreneur
12. Running a Small Business
13. Social Capital and the Enterprise Mix
14. Why Governments Intervene: The Aims of Enterprise Policy
15. Enterprise Policy: Approaches and Delivery Methods
16. Does the Policy Work?
17. What Might Work?
18. The Impact of Change.


Praise for the fourth edition:'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
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