Regional entrepreneurial ecosystems: how family firm embeddedness triggers ecosystem development

Bernhard Fabian Bichler*, Andreas Kallmuenzer, Mike Peters, Tanja Petry, Thomas Clauss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Regional business development is driven by family firms, which are generally deeply embedded in their region, particularly in rural areas. This study explores how family entrepreneurs’ embeddedness drives an entrepreneurial ecosystem as a regional context for innovation. For this purpose, the study brings together entrepreneurship research on embeddedness and on ecosystems, and develops the entrepreneurial ecosystem embeddedness framework to better understand the connection of entrepreneurs to their local environment along three dimensions. Analyzing qualitative interviews from the hospitality context with a pattern matching approach, we highlight the role of family entrepreneurs’ (1) horizontal embeddedness in the economic and socio-political environment, their (2) vertical embeddedness in industry regimes, in particular the family, and their (3) spatial embeddedness in the region for value creation. Thereby we contribute to a differentiated understanding of how embeddedness as a social fabric relates to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The propositions of this study recommend raising awareness for managing entrepreneurs’ embeddedness along these three dimensions since unilateral engagement and a lack of coordinated embeddedness can restrict value creation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Managerial Science
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 18. Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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