Purpose The aim of the study is to explore the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems (EE) and highlight the role played by intellectual capital (IC) in that process. Specifically, the paper adopts the collective intelligence approach, and the study shows how human capital (HC), structural capital (SC) and relational capital (RC) interact to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Design/methodology/approach The paper adopts a single case study of an Italian EE. The data analysis is based upon the collection of different sources of data: semi-structured interviews with representatives of each actor of the ecosystem; email correspondence; meetings report; a 24-months period of direct observation. Given the novelty of the topic, the qualitative method seems well suited for studying innovation-based EE since the method offers rich data about a phenomenon in real-life context. Findings The case is a top-down, innovation-based EE in which all main components of the IC play a crucial role from the initial stage. Findings show how the constant interchange between IC components occurs at two different levels: the micro and the meso level. HC and RC play major roles at both levels, whilst SC only occurs at a meso level, representing the environment in which the whole ecosystem takes place. Additionally, the use case, a new intangible asset integrating all three components of IC, emerged as one of the main outcomes of this innovation-based EE. Originality/value The paper contributes to a rather unexplored topic in the existing literature on EE and IC, namely the formation process of EE and the role played by IC within that process. Additionally, through the application of the collective intelligence approach, the authors shed light on the need to manage IC at both micro and meso level in the creation of an EE.
Marinelli, L., Bartoloni, S., Pascucci, F., Gregori, G.l., Farina Briamonte, M. (2022). Genesis of an innovation-based entrepreneurial ecosystem: exploring the role of intellectual capital. JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL [10.1108/JIC-09-2021-0264].