An Entrepreneur in a Scramble Crossing: An Exploratory Case Study

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter is motivated by a need for an adaptive and anticipatory model of
opportunity seeking by entrepreneurial firms. An exploratory case study is utilised to
examine the applicability of an emergent framework. The framework, entitled
parabolic scramble, demonstrates a flexibility and application found to be well suited
to entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial experience.
Developed from a study of an independent screen production company (the
exploratory company) this entrepreneurship research is based upon the theoretical
foundations of the resource-based-view of the firm, as adjunct to Edith Penrose’s
pioneering investigations of tangible and intangible assets of the firm. Inspirationally
Edith Penrose’s examination of a firm from within provides the theoretical basis upon
which the parabolic scramble emerges from an embedded research study of a
company to demonstrate how the exploratory company develops from a regional startup position to engage with markets nationally and internationally.
From the methodology of action learning action research assisted by grounded theory,
and the researcher’s interaction with a pedestrian scramble crossing in the city of
Adelaide, South Australia emerges a framework from the study which is conceptual
and practical. The parabolic scramble translates easily as a visual tool that can
potentially be utilised by entrepreneurs to contextualise ‘uncertainty’ or ‘the

unknown’ as well as ‘path dependency’. For teachers of entrepreneurship education,
the use of the parabolic scramble can visually demonstrate the means by which
entrepreneurs address the tangible and intangibilities of being in the market; and how
to prepare for a myriad of variables and unexpected phenomena that are inevitably
encountered on the entrepreneurial journey.
The benefit of the parabolic scramble framework and its visual representation for the
entrepreneur, entrepreneur in training or yet-to-be, is that it provides a context for
‘risk’ and frames it as necessary for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial process. It
is through the depiction of the parabolic scramble that a conceptual understanding
and an instantaneous plan-in-action can be established. This is particularly important
for those yet to encounter the entrepreneurial arena where agility, anticipation of
variables, and ultimately an acceptance of the lack of certainty is a norm; because for
the entrepreneur or entrepreneurial practitioner, adapting to these ‘unknown’ factors
is the new normal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual Tools for developing cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship capacity
EditorsSelena Griffith, Kate Carruthers, Martin Bliemel
PublisherCommon Ground Research Networks
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781863351164
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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