Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toolkit
Lee Swanson, University of Saskatchewan
Pub Date: 2017
Conditions of Use
As a lecturer in Innovation Management, I was keen to read this text. A toolkit can be a helpful reference guide to dip in and out off and this text read more
As a lecturer in Innovation Management, I was keen to read this text. A toolkit can be a helpful reference guide to dip in and out off and this text did not disappoint in this way. It covers a wide range of topics in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. Many topics were however mentioned but then not covered in much depth. For example, I was interested in the area of Design Thinking, which was listed in the heading of chapter 2 along with Opportunity Recognition but then featured as only three short paragraphs at the end of the chapter. It is difficult to cover all areas of innovation but I would have expected more of the stages of the innovation process to be captured, for example selecting the innovation and implementing as well as sourcing and capturing value. More also on collaborative models of innovation e.g. open innovation/innovation networks could also be covered.
It is great to read quotes at the start of each chapter that sets the scene. Often provided by a popularised author who has written many important texts on the subject and it really captures your attention to that topic area. However, in many cases the source of the quote was missing. The figure headings also sometimes contained website addresses as the source. It was also not always possible to find the sources from the details provided in the reference list. I would also say that a number of notable key authors in the field were missing. For example the originator of theory on Core Competencies. However, I cannot fault the accuracy of the actual content, the author navigates through many areas of innovation content within this area and very competently summarises some of the key theories and areas of innovative practice.
There content does look up to date, bringing in recent examples throughout such as the airbnb business model. The opening chapter providing a history of entrepreneurship, discussing key definitions and the evolution of the filed is excellent therefore will not date and will continue to be a useful resource. However, the business world is fast changing and new approaches to how we innovate will continue to appear as we react to this change and so the author will need to continue to keep this text updated as he has done so with the last few versions. The way the text is written will make it relatively easy to update bringing in new current examples to inspire students.
The topic areas sometimes felt like they were delivered in note form, with long lists and bullets but in a way as it is presented as a toolkit then this should be anticipated and on the other hand it enables students to dip in and out of it and look for more depth on each topic later. So it gives an overview and can easily be flicked through. Setting expectations of the book by providing more on ‘the content of the book’ when listing this text could help here, as very little is revealed in the book description.
I would say the text is consistent in terms of the terminology used. The style incorporates a number of questions being raised to the reader throughout, they are not always answered but it gives the reader a chance to think about the topic and question aspects of innovation. I also see this as a benefit for students considering a research question to explore, perhaps for an undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation.
The modularity of this text is great. Students or academics can refer to particular chapters or sections of the book. However, more signposting of the sections would be good as commented in the next section.
The order of the chapters with the exception of the first chapter seems a little random, for example chapter 9 Innovation and Entrepreneurship does not come until chapter 9. Navigating the different sections could be helped with the different subsections having numbered headings and present in the contents page. There are lots of headings and subheadings but you do not know about the content until you get through the chapter. For example, if you are interested in social entrepreneurship, you do not realise there is a section on it until you get to chapter 10 on The Entrepreneurial Environment. A glossary would also be useful. An opening preface by the author explaining the layout of the book, would also be helpful in a future revision.
There is a lack of consistency in the way that the figures are displayed e.g. black border around or not, less professional quality of photograph (sheen from light on it). Figures don’t always indicate source or have a label e.g. p45. P44 is blank. Some sections have a feeling of being unfinished e.g. p57/58. It is an informative text with lists and short paragraphs covering different topics and so flow in paragraphs content is not always linked but for the aforementioned reason.
Mix between American and British English used. There is a lack of critical discussion in this text but this is the style of the writing. Sometimes capitals are used at the start of each bullet point and sometimes not.
The text does not focus on a particular context i.e. it is not grounded in a particular international setting. Making references to particular races is not provided here. There is a section on social innovation which addresses the needs of individuals from areas of multiple deprivation, for example though community development organisations, it is good to see this inclusion here.
I really enjoyed reading this book and could see many applications for it, in terms of informing lecture material and also as previously mentioned, for students to refer to, to gain ideas for their research topics. A worthwhile book to read and gain insight into the field, very concisely presented for easy reading.
Table of Contents
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toolkit
- Chapter 1 – Introduction to Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 2 – Opportunity Recognition and Design Thinking
- Chapter 3 – Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities
- Chapter 4 – Business Models
- Chapter 5 – Business Planning
- Chapter 6 – Financing Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 7 – Business Set-Up, Start-Up, and Growth
- Chapter 8 – Strategic Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 9 – Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Chapter 10 – The Entrepreneurial Environment
The Language of Entrepreneurship
About the Book
This book is designed for upper year undergraduate students and graduate students studying fundamental entrepreneurship concepts.
About the Contributors
Dr. Lee Swanson is an Associate Professor of Management and Marketing at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, Aboriginal entrepreneurship, community capacity-building through entrepreneurship, and institutional-stakeholder engagement. Dr. Swanson’s current research is funded through a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council grant and focuses on social and economic capacity building in Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Scandinavia. He is also actively studying Aboriginal community partnerships with resource based companies, entrepreneurship centres at universities, community-based entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions. He teaches upper-year and MBA entrepreneurship classes and conducts seminars on business planning and business development.