The marketing-entrepreneurship interface : an evaluation of hybrid entrepreneurs

Abstract: Marketing and entrepreneurship may often be treated as distinct streams of academic research, however their complementary nature in practice highlights a number of areas of overlap between the two disciplines. The emergence and subsequent growth of entrepreneurial marketing has highlighted the intersection between marketing and entrepreneurship, with scholars expanding the context within which entrepreneurial marketing is examined. Entrepreneurial marketing is a particularly relevant concept in global business markets today, given that the current economic environment in which entrepreneurs operate is one where change is inevitable and traditional attempts to plan are often undermined by uncertainty. Uncertainty as a result of technological changes coupled with shifts in the labour market have resulted in the growth of a particular type of entrepreneur, the hybrid entrepreneur. The number of these individuals, who traverse a grey area between traditional labour markets and self-employment, have grown drastically in recent years. However, little research has explicitly examined the unique nature of these individuals, in particular, the entrepreneurial marketing efforts and subsequent challenges faced in establishing and growing their ventures. This informed the purpose of this dissertation, which is to address its research statement: What are the entrepreneurial marketing efforts and challenges faced by hybrid entrepreneurs? The empirical component of this research spans four research papers. Paper 1 examined the research question: What is the intellectual landscape, scientific productivity and impact of authors, articles and journals in the entrepreneurial marketing field? This empirical paper offered insight into the burgeoning field of entrepreneurial marketing through a bibliographic analysis, in particular, considering whether publications in the field have considered entrepreneurial marketing from the perspective of hybrid entrepreneurship. Paper 2 examined the research question: What are the specific factors that motivate individuals to become hybrid entrepreneurs? This empirical paper made use of a qualitative research methodology, in particular interviewing hybrid entrepreneurs to uncover deep-rooted motivations for engaging in hybrid entrepreneurship. Paper 3 examined the research question: What are the factors that drive the likelihood of transitioning from hybrid entrepreneurship to full-time entrepreneurship? This conceptual paper examined literature in the fields of entrepreneurship and hybrid entrepreneurship, ultimately presenting a conceptual model of the transition period rooted in experiential learning theory. Paper 4 examined the research question: What entrepreneurial marketing issues does one face when growing their small business and how do these issues affect business growth? This empirical paper presented a qualitative case study analysis that examined an individual who had traversed hybrid entrepreneurship throughout the development of their venture. The contribution of the research is its challenge of traditional, outdated conceptualisations of entrepreneurship by counteracting the apparent invisibility of hybrid entrepreneurship in the literature. This research has delineated the role of the entrepreneur is affecting business decisions that may ultimately be to the detriment of business growth. This dissertation drew parallels between entrepreneurship and marketing literature, where similar decisions may be made and justified to willingly halt business growth yet critiqued in very different ways. This research has further explicated the hybrid entrepreneurial journey in a manner that allows for entrepreneurial marketing issues to be examined at different stages in the journey. This dissertation is organised as follows. The first chapter introduces the research domain and describes the research problem. The second chapter presents a literature review of extant literature, thereafter the third chapter outlines the development of the four research questions examined in the four papers comprising this dissertation. The fourth chapter discusses the methodology employed in the dissertation, offering insight into the methodological decisions made in each paper. The fifth chapter presents the findings of the papers and the final, sixth chapter discusses the contributions, implications, limitations and recommendations for future researchers in the field. The four research papers are then presented as appendices. Three of these papers have either been published or accepted for publication and the fourth is under review.

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