Entrepreneurial ecosystems: A study of organizational interactions and interrelations in entrepreneurial ecosystems
Entrepreneurial ecosystems are emerging around the world, and their relevance in business and management is increasing. Practitioners and researchers are using biological metaphors to understand collaborative aspects of entrepreneurial ecosystems. This thesis explores the use of bio-ecological metaphors to study interactions and interrelations taking place in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Specifically, it examines the characteristics of an ecosystem that influence interactions and interrelations within ecosystems. This thesis is part of a qualitative ethnographic research that employs an inductive approach to data analyses. It studies a New Zealand based ecosystem and presents findings on three characteristics that influence interactions and interrelations in ecosystems: interdependence, diversity, and organizational birth and death cycles. In doing so, this thesis makes a number of contributions to management theory and practice. Firstly, it combines aspects of organizational ecology and open-systems theory to develop an ecosystem-level unit of analysis. By using an ecosystem lens, researchers can better observe collaborative aspects of organizations. Secondly, findings suggest that increasing the degree of interdependency and diversity and facilitating organizational birth and death cycles can enhance levels of interaction and interrelations in ecosystems. This implies that more skills, knowledge, ideas, resources, and different forms of support can be exchanged within ecosystems. Such exchange can enrich ecosystems.