Non-market Entrepreneurship

Non-market Entrepreneurship

Interdisciplinary Approaches

Edited by Gordon E. Shockley, Peter M. Frank and Roger R. Stough

As defined by the editors of this book, ‘non-market entrepreneurship’ consists of all forms of entrepreneurship not being undertaken solely for purposes of profit maximization or commercialization, and encompasses entrepreneurial activities such as social enterprise and entrepreneurship, public sector entrepreneurship, policy entrepreneurship, non-profit entrepreneurship, and philanthropic enterprise, among many others. The eminent cast of contributors gives coherence to the academic and public discussions on the topic, builds a theoretical edifice within the field of entrepreneurship and helps to establish and delineate the contours of the research field of non-market entrepreneurship.

Chapter 2: Entrepreneurship and Human Action

Roger Koppl and Maria Minniti

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, public management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy, social entrepreneurship

Extract

Roger Koppl and Maria Minniti INTRODUCTION1 The central figure in entrepreneurship research is the entrepreneur. Without the entrepreneur our object of inquiry disappears. One might expect, then, that all our efforts would be based on a clear, scientific understanding of the entrepreneur and his function. This is not the case, however. We do not know who the entrepreneur is, and we do not know what makes him an entrepreneur. The purpose of this chapter is to clarify who the entrepreneur is and what makes him an entrepreneur. Confusion over the identity of the entrepreneur does not reflect any neglect of the question by entrepreneurship scholars. On the contrary, the problem has received considerable attention in the entrepreneurship literature. It is a difficult scientific problem, however, to decide precisely who is an entrepreneur and what entrepreneurial behavior is. Different answers have been proposed without a consensus view emerging (Gartner, 2001). A unified and comprehensive theory of entrepreneurship, we argue, is possible if and only if we see entrepreneurship as a universal form of human action. Overall, a large amount of research on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship has been conducted in recent years.2 Yet, no consensus has emerged on who is an entrepreneur. This fact reflects a difficulty with entrepreneurship research that might be attributed to its relative youth as a separate discipline.3 Entrepreneurship research today is rich in facts, but poor in theory. Entrepreneurship scholars have produced many important empirical results. No broad...

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