Institutional theory has been increasingly used to understand entrepreneurial research. The implications of the theory are that entrepreneurs are more likely to seek avenues that optimize their returns in the context of their institutional environment. This research critically examines the potential of Uber partners to grow into mainstream small businesses within the institutional context of the gig economy. Using a qualitative research methodology, comprising semi-structured interviews with Uber partners in Johannesburg, the enablers and inhibitors of growth in the institutional environment were established. The research shows that the South African context exhibits a number of constraints to growth for micro-entrepreneurs such as a culture of collectivism, unemployment, inequality, and corruption from a government and societal point of view. The institutional context of Uber displays some growth enabling factors; however, the research has shown that the institutional context exhibits many more growth inhibiting factors. The conducted research finds that the institutional context is more conducive to providing additional income or subsistence income rather than transformational income and that the growth of micro-enterprises is thus limited. The research is envisioned to help micro-entrepreneurs in the allocation of their resources as they consider the potential for growth of their enterprises.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.