In this context, the learning curves followed by the collective of entrepreneurs place that collective of entrepreneurs within the still larger setting of the global marketplace. Taylor and Asheim refer to an economic geography that is more than merely a map of where economic activities take place (Taylor & Asheim, 2001, p. 315). A modern learning organization integrates itself on virtually every conceivable level. Much as its individual members make use consciously and unconsciously of a variety of learning techniques in order to work together as a unit, so too do all of their learning paradigms combine to make them a single, effective player on a larger global stage.
Taylor and Asheim encourage firms to immerse themselves in the concept of economic geography, to complete, as it were, the learning curve, by employing their cognitive abilities vis-a-vis the global marketplace, and so use that marketplace as a source for policies and ideas:
This input into policy will grow only when economic geographers more appropriately theorize the firm and build the key issues of "place," "space," and "spatialities" into their theorizing. This rationale lies behind the set of papers on the firm that we have brought together in this special issue of Economic Geography. (Taylor & Asheim, 2001, p. 315)
In other words, the final dimension of "the group" must be understood as the outer framework within which the company operates. A company may indeed have certain goals in regard to the "outer" world it seeks to exploit, but in order to exploit that outer world successfully it must also recognize itself as part of that world. The grouping of individual entrepreneurs who have now become an organization, must in turn, become a group within a group, this outer, and all-encompassing group being the global marketplace.
Thus, the global marketplace becomes the endpoint, as well as the starting point, of organizational learning theory. The successful modern business must learn to operate on a global stage. Technology, transportation, and simple day-to-day financial realities have made it impossible to ignore the resources and opportunities of a wider world. Competition comes from everywhere, as do the possibilities for financial success. In order to make good use of all of these opportunities, and to avoid the pitfalls of worldwide competition, companies must act like entrepreneurs - they must become agglomerations of individuals. Each of these individual began as a kind of entrepreneur, each possessing her or his own goals, talents, knowledge, and so forth. The entrepreneur makes use of a wide range of organizational skills; skills that enable her or him to size up opportunities, to understand how to deal with them, and how to continue the process of growth and expansion once these opportunities have begun to pay off. Behavioral, cognitive, and action-based learning theories each contribute in their own particular ways to these entrepreneurial processes. A successful enterprise - being a collection of individuals - achieves its greatest success and adaptability by becoming a collection of entrepreneurs; one that fuses together so completely that t effectively becomes a single, giant "super-entrepreneur." Once this level of collectivity is reached, it remains only to use the same organizational theories and apply them to the ultimate "collective" - the global marketplace of which the company, no matter how largely, remains but a part. Success is based on continued learning and working together.
Chen, G. (2005). Management Practices and Tools for Enhancing Organizational Learning Capability. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 70(1), 4+.
Chrisman, J.J., Chua, J.H., & Steier, L.P. (2002). The Influence of National Culture and Family Involvement on Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Performance at the State Level. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 26(4), 113+.
Cope, J. (2005). Toward a Dynamic Learning Perspective of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(4), 373+. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5011099980
Dutta, D.K., & Crossan, M.M. (2005). The Nature of Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Understanding the Process Using the 4I Organizational Learning Framework. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(4), 425+.
Harrison, R.T., & Leitch, C.M. (2005). Entrepreneurial Learning: Researching the Interface between Learning and the Entrepreneurial Context. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(4), 351+.
Honig, B. (2001). Learning Strategies and Resources for Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 26(1), 21+.
Lumpkin, G. (2005). The Role of Organizational Learning in the Opportunity-Recognition Process. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(4), 451+.
Mcmillan, E. (2004). Complexity, Organizations and Change. New York: Routledge.
Mitchell, R.K., Busenitz, L., Lant, T., Mcdougall, P.P., Morse, E.A., & Smith, J.B. (2004). The Distinctive and Inclusive Domain of Entrepreneurial Cognition Research. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 28(6), 505+.
Politis, D. (2005). The Process of Entrepreneurial Learning: A Conceptual Framework. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 29(4), 399+.
Shepherd, D.A., & Krueger, N.F. (2002). An Intentions-Based Model of Entrepreneurial Teams' Social Cognition. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 27(2), 167+.
Strychacz, T. (2002). 7 Ernest Hemingway's Aesthetic of Emotional Restraint. In Boys Don't Cry? Rethinking Narratives of Masculinity and Emotion in the U.S., Shamir, M. & Travis, J. (Eds.) (pp. 141-166). New York: Columbia University Press.
Taylor, M., & Asheim, B. (2001). The Concept of the Firm in Economic Geography. Economic Geography, 77(4), 315.