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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technology Entrepreneurship: A Deliberation on Success and Failure in Technology Venturing toward a Grounded Theory of Dystechnia
by Stewart, McDonald R., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2011, 442; 3450928
Abstract (Summary)

In the realm of social sciences, the greater body of business and economic theory constructs frameworks of complex organizational systems: the firm, the industry, the institution. Underlying these interdependent and concentric layers are individuals whose behaviors exist first; behaviors must give rise to institutions before institutions can mold behaviors. In the purview of business and economics, the entrepreneur is the pivotal individual actor in this proposed model. Starting with an idea and the urge to take action, individual entrepreneurial initiatives create firms that produce industries which in turn give rise to institutions. Complex business and economic systems are evolutionarily revised, created and destroyed by the successful execution of entrepreneurial ambition.

Technology is a major factor in the evolution of human organization. Technology embodies the cumulative totality of human learning, and permits the dissemination and leveraging of knowledge and know-how interpersonally through cultural exchange, or remotely by way of artifacts possessed of embedded technology. Technology increases the economic yield of human endeavors, which multiplies the resources and opportunity for further exploration, discovery, and innovation of yet more advantageous technologies.

This research examines Technology Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship seeks to shift the established means of economic creation and control; Technology can enable dramatic efficiencies of scale and scope to facilitate entrepreneurial objectives. Technology Entrepreneurship seeks to shift economic opportunities from established firms and industries to new ventures by the introduction or modification of new technology inventions or innovations.

An entrepreneur's ability to predict the future (or this individual's confident belief in possessing such ability) and relentless, self-confident pursuit of this vision represent specialized and exceptional thinking, learning, and decision-making because of the innately unpredictable and precarious proposition of launching a new business venture, especially in technology markets which are turbulent.

Many behavioral attributes, thought processes, and decision strategies of entrepreneurs may seem markedly radical or aberrant if benchmarked against managerial best practices at the level of the firm, industry, or institution. It poses a very different set of challenges to advance a business from concept to startup than to sustain or grow a going concern. But what are the salient traits or behaviors that spell success, and how might they be codified and measured? And how is success or failure evaluated?

This dissertation attempts to establish some critical factors attributable to the entrepreneur as the originator of new organizations of economic creation and control—independent of market challenges—specifically investigating what defines and distinguishes an entrepreneur and how the individual characteristics of the entrepreneur can be evaluated against entrepreneurial outcomes.

An interdisciplinary theory base draws from literature and vocabulary in the fields of entrepreneurship, management science, organizational theory, economics, philosophy, psychology and sociology. The research focuses on the following topical areas of inquiry: (a) Intrinsic Characteristics of Entrepreneurial Actors and Actions, including, “When, how and why are the specific attributes of ‘obsessed maniac’ and ‘clairvoyant oracle’ (Carayannis, 1998-2011) observed?” (b) Actionable Benchmarks for Practitioners and Stakeholders, including: “What strategies can an entrepreneur or venture partner employ to recognize and remedy dystechnia (Stewart & Carayannis, 2011) to create opportunities for advantage?” “When, how and why are higher order learning (Carayannis, 1993, 1994b, 1994c, 1998, 1999a, 1999b, 2000a, 2000b, 2008a; Carayannis & Alexander, 2002) competences and capabilities observed and enacted?” “When, how and why should ‘Strategic Knowledge Serendipity’ and ‘Strategic Knowledge Arbitrage’ (Carayannis, 2008a; 2002-2009, 1998-2011) be leveraged and deployed?” (c) Potential Metrics for Conducting Future Parametric Analyses , including: “How is success or failure defined and evaluated in the outcomes of Technology Entrepreneurship?” “Can a finite set of significant variables be defined for the intrinsic characteristics of individual entrepreneurs and the outcomes of their technology venturing that could permit meaningful parametric modeling?”

Employing qualitative analytic techniques triangulated across three complementary data sources, this exploratory and descriptive study intends to inform the scholarly framework of Technology Entrepreneurship and contribute to the understanding of what factors might be teachable or reinforceable via educational programs for academics or actionable managerial strategies for practitioners.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carayannis, Elias G.
Commitee: Alexander, Jeffrey M., Donnelly, Richard G., Russell, Stephen, Waters, Robert C.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Information Systems & Technology Management
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Management, Information Technology
Keywords: Dystechnia, Entrepreneur, Evolutionary economics, Technology entrepreneurship, Technology venturing
Publication Number: 3450928
ISBN: 978-1-124-60407-7
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