Innovation-driven entrepreneurship has become a focus for economic development and received increasing attention from policy makers and academics over the last decades. While consensus has been reached that context matters for innovation and entrepreneurship, little evidence and decision support exists for policy makers to effectively shape the environment for growth-oriented companies. We present the entrepreneurial ecosystem concept as a complex systems-based approach to the study of innovation-driven entrepreneurial economies. The concept, in combination with novel data sources, offers new opportunities for research and policy, but also comes with new challenges. The aim of this paper is to take stock of the literature and build bridges for more transdisciplinary research. First, we review emergent trends in ecosystem research and provide a typology of four overarching problems based on current limitations. These problems connect operational research scholars to the context and represent focal points for their contributions. Second, we review the operational research literature and provide an overview of how these problems have been addressed and outline opportunities for future research, both for the specific problems as well as cross-cutting themes. Operational research has been invaluable in supporting decision-makers facing complex problems in several fields. This paper provides a conceptual and methodological agenda to increase its contribution to the study and governance of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- OR in societal problem analysis
- innovation-driven entrepreneurship
- applications of OR