Examining interconnectivity of entrepreneurship, innovation and sports policy framework

Published date02 December 2019
Date02 December 2019
AuthorPaul Pounder
Subject MatterStrategy,Entrepreneurship,Business climate/policy
Examining interconnectivity of
entrepreneurship, innovation and
sports policy framework
Paul Pounder
St Georges University, St Georges, Grenada
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine theexisting literature in entrepreneurship and innovation
and its linkages to sport.
Design/methodology/approach This research involved four main stages: definition of the key aspects
of innovation and entrepreneurship; synthesis of the typologies purporting the interplay between
entrepreneurship and innovation in sport; showcasing entrepreneurship and innovation in-practice in a sports
context; and identifying steps toward the development of an overall sports policy framework.
Findings It was observed that through entrepreneurship, innovation plays a crucial role in contributing to
the sports industry through research, and technology adaptation. The wide variation in the adaptation
techniques of innovation in the entrepreneurship realm for sports can be supported by three aspects: a strong
culture of innovation, the adaptation of technology from other sectors for sports entrepreneurship and
network support.
Research limitations/implications This study highlights the critical role that entrepreneurship and
innovation can have on the sports sector. Those in the sportsfield can use this research to continue to push
the development of products and services that can improve the field.
Originality/value There is little emphasis on sports in mainstream entrepreneurship or innovation
research. Therefore, this research is one of the few in this area to look at the interconnectivity between
entrepreneurship, innovation and sports.
Keywords Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Sports, Sport policy
Paper type Literature review
1. Introduction
It is clear to see that entrepreneurship is a concept that has cut across many aspects of
society and human endeavors, with sports being one of them. On the other hand, innovation
can be categorized as bringing forth an idea that fashions the development of a product or a
service that satisfies customers needs by creating value. Thus, in a constantly changing
world, innovation is no longer optional, it is an inevitability. As entrepreneurs strive to
create successful businesses, they must align their innovations with their overall strategy
and consider the modern approaches of the industry in order to stay abreast with
the competition. The innovations can be incremental or radical in nature, depending on the
effect and nature of the change. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, the innovation can also
include changes in philosophy, services and procedures (McKeown, 2008).
In general, entrepreneurship as a study is essentially important to the development of
any economy worldwide. Mainly, it generates jobs, improves standard of living and
commits wealth to society. As these entrepreneurial ventures start-up and attempt to remain
competitive, they must be innovative. As such, many entrepreneurial ventures have gone
through several iterations with the focus on producing innovative products, services and
processes which create value. This research purposefully sets out to examine the existing
literature in entrepreneurship and innovation and its linkages to sport. The sport sector was
chosen as the area of focus, as many entrepreneurs, through new venture creation, strive to
satisfy the needs of the sector through creativity and innovation. The paper further
suggests steps toward an overall sports policy framework, gives insights into the
significance of an adequate sports policy and discusses areas for future research.
Journal of Entrepreneurship and
Public Policy
Vol. 8 No. 4, 2019
pp. 483-499
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/JEPP-08-2019-111
Received 25 November 2018
Accepted 8 March 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Sports policy
In the literature, there are several definitions of both entrepreneurship and innovation.
For this study, it is clear that consideration must be given to breaking down each concept by
looking at appropriate definitions which assist in creating a better understanding of the
concepts. Thus, this study adopts a qualitative approach in examining the presence of
innovation in the entrepreneurship process and seeks to understand the activities as it
relates to sport. The study also assesses the theory and practice of a sports policy
framework and its impact on entrepreneurship and innovation.
2. Literature review
2.1 Defining entrepreneurship
Much about entrepreneurship has been investigated by many academics and practitioners.
Previous research has been done in relation to: characteristics of the entrepreneur, the role of
resources, opportunity recognition (OR), venture creation process, education and the
environment. Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) defined entrepreneurship as a dynamic process
of vision, change and creation, requiring energy and passion. While many of these factors
have been explored, as shown in this section, much is still required to understand
entrepreneurship and its impact on sports.
The characteristics of an entrepreneur are identified in many studies. Bolton and
Thompson (2000)gave a methodical definition of an entrepreneur when they purported that a
person who habitually creates and innovates to build or transform something with a known
value around recognized and identifiable opportunities can be consideredas an entrepreneur.
Thompson (2004) further suggested that without the important entrepreneur characteristics,
survival and growth rates are lower, while Mahoney and Michael (2005) discussed how
entrepreneurship brings together elements of individual creativity, discovery, surprise and
learning. Further to this, there is some discussion on entrepreneurship within large
organizations, which is deemed as intrapreneurship and involves creating/discovering new
services/products/opportunities for the purposeof creating value within or underthe auspices
of an existing business (Financial Times Lexicon, 2017).
The resource base of the entrepreneur has been deemed key to effective entrepreneurial
leadership. In many studies the need for adequate resources is identified as a key need for
entrepreneurs to be successful. Mobilizing resources to turn entrepreneurial visions into
business reality is touted by Choi and Shepherd (2004); and further supported by Witt (2007)
who denoted the need to successfully organize resources into the envisioned business.
Additionally, many have purported OR as a key trait that entrepreneurs must possess.
In general OR reflects on behaviors in which entrepreneurs recognize potential steps toward
identifying new market prospects developed through identified opportunities. Ozgen and
Baron (2007) posited that OR also involves recognizing the significance of networking
and building relationships with others through social networks, while others have focused
on tacit knowledge (Davidsson and Honig, 2003), discovery (Alvarez and Barney, 2007) and
the value of learning through mentors and the major benefits to be derived (Barrett, 2006;
Hezlett, 2005).
Another key part of entrepreneurship is the venture creation process for the
entrepreneur, which is deemed as long and complex. It entails the progression of building a
new start-up venture, growing the venture in a sustainable way, and structuring it to the
point where you can harvest the venture with the possibility of repeating this exercise by
starting again with the recognition of a new opportunity. Thus, the venture creation process
is usually tied to the most essential activities of the entrepreneur: generating ideas,
recognizing opportunities and obtaining resources (Ardichvili et al., 2003; Shane, 2003),
all of which have been discussed earlier.
The role of educationis part of the entrepreneurial process andis thought to be significant
to the success of the entrepreneur and the sustainability of the business. Solomon et al. (2002)

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