The Role of Institutional Context in the Development of the SME Biotech Sector in Poland


  • Grzegorz Micek Jagiellonian University Institute of Geography and Spatial Managemen
  • Pauline Gleadle University of East Anglia, London Norwich Business School
  • Piotr Dawidko Jagiellonian University Institute of Geography and Spatial Management



Biotech, entrepreneurial behaviour, institutional challenges, Poland


Whilst Poland is argued to represent one of the largest and most entrepreneurial economiesin CE with huge potential for development of the SME biotech industry, this sector remains relativelyunderdeveloped. In this paper, we explore reasons for this apparent anomaly, focusing on the interrelationshipsbetween institutional context and entrepreneurial behaviour. We adopt Smallbone andWelter’s (2009a, b) typology (Welter, Smallbone, 2011) of entrepreneurial behaviour in constructinga case study of the biotech SME industry in Poland, concluding that the sector faces particular institutionalchallenges which entrepreneurs react to in a variety of ways. We conclude that Poland presentsserious obstacles to a knowledge-intensive sector such as biotech.


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Author Biographies

Grzegorz Micek, Jagiellonian University Institute of Geography and Spatial Managemen

Grzegorz Micek, Ph.D., Jagiellonian University. Research interests: local impact of global companiesin IT industry, biotechnology and business services; proximity economics; applications of knowledgeflows and spillovers concepts to regional development theories.

Pauline Gleadle, University of East Anglia, London Norwich Business School

Pauline Gleadle, Ph.D., University of East Anglia, London. Research interests: financialization, especiallyin the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in the UK and internationally and the managementof innovation.

Piotr Dawidko, Jagiellonian University Institute of Geography and Spatial Management

Piotr Dawidko, MSc, Jagiellonian University. Research interests: geography of innovation andhigh-technology industries, regional innovation systems, the role of global production networks in therestructuring of post-communist economies, knowledge flows and spatial clustering.


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How to Cite

Micek, G., Gleadle, P., & Dawidko, P. (2014). The Role of Institutional Context in the Development of the SME Biotech Sector in Poland. Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 25, 132–150.