Varieties of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: A comparative study of Tokyo and Bangalore

Agata Kapturkiewicz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper, through a longitudinal qualitative study of comparable but different entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) in Tokyo and Bangalore, contributes to the understanding of how local EEs can be compared and measured in a way that pays attention to context and time. In contrast to many existing approaches to measuring EEs, this study follows a bottom-up approach anchored in organisation theory to uncover potentially systematic EE differences (pointing to EE types) and – based on those – propose contextualised EE measurement dimensions in an inductive way. Specifically, the paper conceptualises EEs as organisational fields, and introduces and traces a unit of analysis comprised of institutional work and practice performed by EE stakeholders (entrepreneurs, investors, various supporters) on elements related to institutional infrastructure of their EEs (e.g. financial and labour resources, support infrastructure, markets). This analysis illuminates which EE elements are particularly important in a given location and time as evidenced by the stakeholders’ actions. The findings reveal similarity in elements related to EEs’ institutional infrastructure that have been the objects of action in both locations. At the same time, there are patterns of similarities and differences in substance and sequence of the actions. For instance, institutional work and practice regarding support infrastructure consisted of similar specific actions and occurred in similar sequence over time in both Tokyo and Bangalore, in contrast to the actions related to markets. Further, uncovering the existence of disputes regarding some instances of actions performed with regards to EEs’ institutional infrastructure, allows identifying a set of interacting dimensions (underlying EEs’ institutional infrastructure) that drive similarities and differences in EEs’ evolution trajectories in Tokyo and Bangalore by moderating stakeholders’ actions: transnational connectedness, domestic old economy factors, perceived local EE needs, and EE benchmarks. This set of dimensions and their interactions is conceptualised as beginnings of a novel framework for comparing sub-national EEs – Varieties of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems – which is anchored in organisation theory but sensitised by insights from established comparative frameworks like Varieties of Capitalism. The cases examined in this paper allow to specify two EE types: more domestically-oriented EE (like Tokyo) and more transnationally-oriented EE (like Bangalore), both sharing the characteristic of developing and strengthening over time. Based on the Varieties of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, the paper proposes contextualised EE measurement dimensions as an alternative and complementary way to the existing approaches to measuring EEs. Overall, this paper contributes to EE studies (including the implications for policy and practice regarding how to assess and measure EEs), as well as to organisation theory, to the underdeveloped issue of how to compare across organisational fields using the institutional infrastructure concept.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104377
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Institutional work
  • International and regional comparison
  • Organisational field
  • Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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