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Behind the Scenes of Technology Entrepreneurship in Kenya: A Rich Microcosm for Contextualizing and Advancing Global Organization Studies

  • Technology entrepreneurship is on the rise around the world. In the quest for change, comparative advantage, innovation creation and socioeconomic progress, a turn to entrepreneurial solutions to persistent developmental challenges has provided a powerful and captivating alternative to past solution approaches. As a consequence, innovation clusters have mushroomed, and an enthusiasm for entrepreneurial activity has caught the attention of many in localities as diverse as Kenya’s Silicon Savannah, Nigeria’s Yabacoon Valley, South Africa’s Silicon Cape, Chile’s Chilecon Valley and Germany’s Silicon Allee, to mention just a few. Yet despite this new, vibrant entrepreneurial activity that continuous to nourish a global wave of excitement, we know little about how technology entrepreneurship is actually performed in these disparate places. This doctoral thesis sought to fill this gap by taking a look “behind the scenes” of one of the most prominent innovation clusters in Africa — Kenya’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector. In this empirical setting, industry participants were in the midst of actively negotiating and rationalizing how technology entrepreneurship needs to work to make it a success, to unlock the benefits of a knowledge economy for Kenya and to carve out a space in the global innovation landscape for innovations made in Africa. Three interconnected academic papers form the core of this thesis. The first paper provides a detailed illustration of the local and global prescriptions that influence entrepreneurial action in Kenya’s ICT sector and inspired the conceptualization of a dynamic process model of globalization. The second paper offers a fine-grained view into the work realities of Kenyans and the generation of the multidimensional work portfolios across which workers diversify their activities to achieve economic survival, create wealth and exert agency for change. The third paper is a theoretical piece that theorizes the process of nonnative organizational forms diffusing and becoming adopted in new organizational environments. All in all, the thesis can be seen as an attempt to study the complexities that reign in African economies through an organizational lens and thus to foster a global organizational scholarship research agenda and discourse that can be of benefit to the many rather than just the few.

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Author:Tim Weiss
Referee:George Njenga
Advisor:Helmut Willke, Klaus Weber
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Publication:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/02/17
Publishing Institution:Zeppelin Universität
Granting Institution:Zeppelin Universität
Date of final exam:2017/02/15
Release Date:2017/02/17
Tag:Technology entrepreneurship; information and communication technology sector (ICT); innovation and globalization; innovation clusters in Africa, Africa, Kenya; organizational environment
Page Number:1-190
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt