Re-Storying the Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Concepts: The Model-Narrative Review Method

Henri Hakala, Gregory O'Shea, Steffen Farny, Seppo Luoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a novel literature review method in order to systematically trace and reveal the dominant narratives of a body of literature: the model-narrative review method. We apply this method to an ever- growing literature on ecosystems in business studies, as it resembles a rich knowledge base with somewhat competing, overarching stories, replete with emplotted characters, systematic puzzles and embellished scientific drama. To interpret these unfolding storylines, we both separately engage with and connect seminal work on business, entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. Through thematic reading we map the key themes and scientific puzzles in each ecosystem type. Through enstoried reading we identify how authors construct the plot, narrative setting, emplotted characters, narrative voices and moral lessons around ecosystems. Through rhetorical reading we explicate the rhetorical devices and strategies that claim the relevance of their work. Our findings expose a number of hidden meanings and underlying assumptions, adding transparency to ecosystem rhetorics and enhancing conceptual clarity. Altogether, this method offers a systematic construction of model-narratives to synthesise and critically reflect upon similarities and differences between related concepts and opens up space for alternative research questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-32
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • innovation ecosystem
  • business ecosystem
  • narrative review method
  • model narrative


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-Storying the Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Concepts: The Model-Narrative Review Method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this