European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Paula Kyrö
Chapter 2: New Elements for the Analysis of Entrepreneurial Structure
Joaquín Guzmán Cuevas and Felipe Rafael Cáceres Carrasco INTRODUCTION In spite of the diversity of deﬁnitions of entrepreneurship within the traditional specialized literature, usually there is a clear distinction between the ﬁeld that refers to the entrepreneur’s action (entrepreneurial function) and the ﬁeld that refers to the result or consequence of that action (enterprise). For example, the recent deﬁnition proposed by P. Thornton and K. Flynn states that: ‘we deﬁne entrepreneurship as both the discovery and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities and the creation of new organization, which occur as a context-dependent social and economic process’ (Thornton and Flynn, 2003). In the wide ﬁeld of entrepreneurship one can distinguish, therefore, two aspects for analysis: a) the entrepreneur; b) the enterprise. In this second ﬁeld of entrepreneurship, it is possible to distinguish three approaches or levels of analysis. First, there is the ‘micro’ approach, whose prevalent interest of analysis is the individual one. The theories developed at this level frequently have the maximization of the ﬁrm owner’s proﬁt as their main objective. For instance, there are well-known theories such as the risk-uncertainty theory or the diﬀerent psychological theories focusing on the optimization of an entrepreneur’s behaviour which are based on this approach. Secondly, beyond individual interest, the ‘meso’ approach has the ﬁrm’s interest as its main focus. Logically, this study or ﬁeld of research is wider than the ﬁrst one and includes, among others, the transaction cost theory, the network theory, the spin-oﬀ process...
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