ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents


Book Reviews

New Article: Golan-Nadir & Cohen, The Role of Individual Agents in Promoting Peace Processes

Golan-Nadir, Niva, and Nissim Cohen. “The Role of Individual Agents in Promoting Peace Processes: Business People and Policy Entrepreneurship in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Policy Studies (early view; online first).





Are individual businesspeople who operate as policy entrepreneurs willing and able to influence peace processes in conflict areas? The literature on businesspeople as policy agents shifts when talking about peace processes, focusing on group level activities and ignoring the effect of individual agents. We argue that rather than regarding businesspeople as a traditional interest group, we should consider the approaches to promoting change that strongly motivated individuals adopt as policy entrepreneurs. Based on interviews with senior Israeli businesspeople and decision-makers, we demonstrate how strongly motivated Israeli businesspeople promote peace as policy entrepreneurs. We identify their motivations, goals, challenges, and the strategies they use. The findings indicate that although motivated by economic profits, businesspeople undertake activities that may prove very beneficial to both themselves and society as a whole.




New Article: Shneor & Efrat, The Influence of Market Intelligence on Israeli Born Globals

Shneor, Rotem, and Kalanit Efrat. “The Influence of Market Intelligence and Marketing Mix Adaptation Efforts on the Performance of Israeli Born Globals.” In Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship Strategy. Improving SME Performance Globally (ed. Pervez N. Ghauri and V. H. Manek Kirpalani; Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2015): 45ff.



The chapter first provides an overview of studies at the intersection of BG internationalization, international marketing and firm performance. This is further extended to the standardization-localization dilemma in particular, and concludes with a list of hypotheses linking localization of marketing mix elements and BG performance. Next, methodology and analysis are presented, and findings are highlighted. Finally, the chapter will conclude with revisiting the main insights emerging from the study, as well as suggested implications for research and practice.



New Article: Sofer & Saada, Women Entrepreneurs in the Rural Space in Israel

Sofer, Michael, and Tzipi Saada. “Women Entrepreneurs in the Rural Space in Israel: Catalysts and Obstacles to Enterprise Development.” Sociologia Ruralis (early view; online first).





This article examines 100 women and their enterprises in moshav-type cooperative rural settlements in the rural-urban fringe of Tel-Aviv metropolitan area, Israel, and analyses the catalysts and obstacles to development and expansion of such enterprises. Most of the businesses are small, in the personal and service sector, and based on experience in past employment. The majority are located in homes or unused farming structures and constitute the major source of household income. Major catalysts of development include the search for alternatives to waning farming income, self-fulfilment, and professional development; main obstacles are shortage of capital and lack of self-confidence in the ability to manage a business. The location is advantageous for fulfilling family obligations and saving costs, but problematic because of distance from central markets and intense local competition. The businesses play a crucial role in the survival strategy of rural households and help improve the quality of life and wellbeing in the region.




Thesis: Schaap, The Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel

Schaap, T.A. An Explorative Study on Factors outside the Influence of the Entrepreneur that can explain the Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel, MA Thesis, Delft University of Technology, 2015.




The research is executed as a master thesis for the MSc program Management of Technology at the TU Delft and is conducted in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the state of Israel in Tel Aviv. The researcher has spent six months in Israel to perform this research and was subsidized by Climate-KIC to execute this research.


Problem statement and research question
This research is an empirical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process for cleantech Technology Based New Ventures (TBNVs) in Israel after these ventures have received seed funding. External factors are defined as factors outside the influence of the entrepreneur.
Literature has described the progression of TBNVs in different stage-based models, although these mainly describe the organizational development. This thesis uses models of Kazanjian et al (1989) and Vohora et al (2004) to describe the growth process of cleantech TBNVs and zooms in on the processes which cleantech TBNVs have to execute after they passed the credibility threshold (Vohora et al, 2004). This milestone reflects in the research by only considering cleantech TBNVs which have received seed funding and where thus deemed credible enough by their investors.
Previous research has named Israel the most innovative country in cleantech, but showed that there is a lack of commercialization of this innovation. The purpose of this research is to explore explanations for this phenomenon and test whether the factors distilled from the literature study can be found in practice and explain the phenomenon. Ten factors were determined based upon a literature study and these were tested by conducting field interviews and studying research reports. The overall research question for this study is:
Which factors, outside the influence of cleantech TBNVs, have consequences for the progression of cleantech TBNVs to the sustainable returns phase after seed funding has been received?

Research Process

Three angles were chosen in the literature study to determine external factors – markets, resources and policy. These factors served in general as a good framework for the practical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process of cleantech technology based ventures in Israel. The studied factors are accessibility of international markets, the need for high-paced growth, the need for an international network, availability of financial and human resources, risk tolerance of available financial resources, competition for financial resources with other fields of technology, the formal institutional regime for new innovations, the formal institutional regime for new sustainable innovations and perceived stability of the governmental policy by investors.
Empirical research was done in the form of two rounds of data collection. The first data collection contained semi-structured interviews with ten respondents who were (in)directly involved with cleantech in Israel. These respondents were from four different areas – business development, government (policy), late stage finance and venture capitalists and were interviewed about the aforementioned factors. The results from these interviews prompted a second data collection in two specific topics that were thought to hold more explaining value about the observed commercialization gap. These two topics included the availability of financial resources and related factors, the policy for innovation in Israel in general and the policy surrounding cleantech innovation. The second data collection contained another four semi-structured interviews on these specific topics and the study of reports on the topics.


Findings and conclusions
The results of the empirical research showed that all the proposed factors were relevant and influenced cleantech TBNVs in Israel, although the influence of some factors is more explicit than that of others. Especially the availability of financial resources which can be used to invest in technology development of cleantech TBNVs were found to be lacking. This can be explained by the high financial costs of technology development for cleantech TBNVs. The investment in such a project bears a lot of risk, which only a few types of investors can cope with – namely specialized, early-stage Venture Capitalists, business angels and the government.
Moreover, many cleantech TBNVs develop technologies related to the field of infrastructure which is a tough market for a start-up. Finally, the shift in policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs can be expected to offset investors, which also contributes to the lower amount of available financial resources.


Scientifically, this study contributes evidence to the validity of the applied theories in a specific setting – namely development of cleantech TBNVs in Israel. The conceptual model used in this study would be useful to explore similar research problems in other countries although a zoom into specific topics remains necessary. In this research the specific topics included policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs and the needs for funding for cleantech TBNVs.
Practically, this research has implications for entrepreneurs and investors in this field and for governments both in Israel and Europe. Entrepreneurs and investors in this field should realize themselves that they are in a precarious position due to factors like the high costs of technology development and instable policy that heighten the already high amounts of uncertainty that is currently surrounding the process of cleantech TBNV development. Risk reduction strategies should be high on the priority list of these actors.
Governments should realize that investors make investments with a five to ten year horizon and regulatory stability is therefore an important factor to take into account if one aims to increase in the sector. Especially the case which described the instability of the solar sector in Israel is an example of an increase in investment insecurity by governmental decisions.
Moreover, the financial resources necessary for most of the cleantech start-ups are momentarily simply not available. The Venture Capital investment model is only suitable for those start-ups that can achieve high growth rates, which can be difficult for cleantech start-ups. Making different financial resources available tailored to the needs of cleantech TBNVs, for instance via debt financing instead of equity financing should be a priority for the governments both in Israel and Europe. Previous research of EIM showed challenges in Europe to be similar to the challenges that have been found in this research.



New Article: Schnell et al, Entrepreneurship in the Periphery and Local Growth: The Case of Northern Israel

Schnell, Izhak, Zeev Greenberg, Sara Arnon, and Shmuel Shamai. “Entrepreneurship in the Periphery and Local Growth: The Case of Northern Israel.” GeoJournal (early view; online first).





Entrepreneurship in the northern periphery in Israel should be viewed as a response to the crisis in rural agriculture during the 1980’s. Most entrepreneurs left their farms for salaried employment for a few years and they took professional courses in order to learn necessary skills before they opened their enterprises. They have developed new small entreprizes using local resources at times informally as means to reduce risks and they specialize mainly in internal tourism and construction related branches. While Jewish entrepreneurs develop mainly tourism activities oriented toward the national market, Arab entrepreneurs develop mainly construction related branches to local and home regional markets. Both represent two styles of peripheral activities. It seems that both styles has only limited potential to overcome their marginality.



New Article: Bijaoui & Regev, Entrepreneurship and Viral Development in Rural Western Negev in Israel

Bijaoui, Ilan, and David Regev. “Entrepreneurship and Viral Development in Rural Western Negev in Israel.” Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship 17.1 (2015): 54-66.





This paper aims to focus on two main and related issues: evaluating whether the required entrepreneurial capabilities are present according to Gladwell’s law of the few in the Western Negev region of Israel and identifying the economic development model that can generate a viral development.

In this paper, McClelland’s classification was used to evaluate the level of motivation in the region and Gladwell’s law of the few classification was used to understand the potentially positive effect of each entrepreneur on the others and on economic development in general. To evaluate the personal and business capabilities of each entrepreneur, two groups of parameters, one describing the personal profile and the other describing the business behavior of the entrepreneurs, were used.

Most entrepreneurs are ready to cooperate with the open incubator and to contribute to generating common business interest, but mavens and connectors have few of the required personal characteristics and business attitudes. Only the salesmen have the required personal profile, but they lack the necessary business attitude. Highly motivated entrepreneurs, at need-for-power level, have both the required personal profile and business attitude. They are the ones who could generate growth, and a portion of them have the characteristics to become mavens, connectors and salesmen.

Practical implications
The willingness to cooperate with a neutral organization and generate common economic interest is present in the Western Negev, but the following actions are required to achieve viral development: persuade and support entrepreneurs at the highest level of motivation to be a part of the few, i.e. mavens, connectors and salesmen; improve the business attitude of mavens, connectors and salesmen; and plan the work program of the open incubator in cooperation with entrepreneurs at the need-for-power level: mavens, connectors and salesmen.

Viral economic development can occur if the few mavens, connectors and salesmen in a given sector or region have the required positive personal profile and business attitude, and if most of the entrepreneurs are ready to cooperate with a neutral organization, the open incubator and join efforts with others to generate new common business interests.



New Article: Sabar and Pagis, African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel

Sabar, Galia, and Michal Pagis. “Enhancing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship: African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel.” Migration Studies 3.2 (2015): 260-80.





Contemporary studies on return migration express a growing interest in the cultural and social dimensions of its economic development. In this article we aim to extend this interest by focusing on economic values returning migrants bring back with them to their countries of origin, captured in what we call the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’. The article is based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork with Sub-Saharan African labor migrants both in Israel and after their return to their country of origin. Utilizing a Weberian perspective on the connection between values and economic action, we illustrate that even though African migrants work in menial jobs in Israel and very few acquire professional training, they come to utilize Israel as an informal space for the enhancement of a ‘spirit of entrepreneurship’. This spirit contains three valuative transformations: a transformation concerning time (including a valuing of the future over the present); a transformation concerning individual action (replacing the primacy of community with a focus on individual flourishing)-Sahara; and a transformation in social relations (extending trust beyond friends and family to economic partners). These transformations are in line with economic values underlying a capitalist economic system. The expression of these value orientations acts as an important factor through which African countries have become increasingly interlinked and influenced by neoliberal culture. Yet, as the testimonies of African labor migrants reveal, local social structures reside side by side with this imported spirit of entrepreneurship. This hybridity may lead to increased opportunities, but also to feelings of estrangement and frustration.

ToC: Israel Studies Review 28,2 (2013)

Guest Editors’ Introduction: Rethinking the Family in Israel

pp. vii-xii(6)
Authors: Fogiel-Bijaoui, Sylvie; Rutlinger-Reiner, Reina

Articles: The Transformation of Intimacies

pp. 1-17(17)
Author: Engelberg, Ari

Articles: Families in Transition

pp. 83-101(19)
Author: Rutlinger-Reiner, Reina

Articles: The Boundaries of Family Life

pp. 140-156(17)
Author: Lustenberger, Sibylle

Articles: Legal Discourse, Private Life

pp. 210-227(18)
Author: Fogiel-Bijaoui, Sylvie

Articles: Articles: Legal Discourse, Private Life

pp. 247-263(17)
Author: Mazeh, Yoav

pp. 300-313(14)
Author: Kreiczer-Levy, Shelly

Book Reviews

pp. 314-324(11)