Dr. Robert Anthony Edgell, SBS Swiss Business School and State University of New York
Throughout contemporary economics and institutional literature, many scholars argue for governmental policies that encourage citizens to engage in entrepreneurial activity as a safeguard to sustainable progress, especially during financial crises. The institutional context is relevant since it determines the broad constraints, normative expectations, and incentives that bind and mediate the behaviors of individual actors and organizations. However, while this dominant rational choice and economic institutional theory provides some help with the challenge of empowering citizens, it may not fully or robustly consider the antecedent and micro processes that enable actors, especially those who may be viewed as vulnerable, to gain agency. Accordingly, the underlying aim of this paper is to gain insight into the embedded micro and macro processes that enable sustainable opportunity for those in society who often are most at employment risk. The paper reviews cognitive and developmental psychology as well as the societal influences and national systems literature, with emphasis on research relevant for developing countries. Using a discursive institutional approach, the paper delineates and discusses institutional change in support of a proposed national entrepreneurial capacity development framework. Lastly, the paper concludes with additional areas for future research.