European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 2: Innovative Schumpeterian Entrepreneurship: A Systemic Perspective
Hanns Pichler Schumpeter states in the early German edition of his seminal Theory of Economic Development (1912),1 that underlying hypotheses and observations, were not invented or merely fictitious, but were taken and gleaned from economic reality in contrast to the then prevailing equilibriumoriented and essentially ‘static’ views of interpreting the market-based capitalist process as ‘conditioned by given circumstances’ (as he subtitled the very first chapter). Hence the telling motto right on the title page of the first edition: ‘Hypotheses non fingo’. (This never appeared again in any later editions, including the English translation of 1934; see Appendices 2A.1 and 2A.2.) In retrospect one might be left wondering what, in fact, makes Schumpeter’s early conceived vision of the leadership role of the entrepreneur in ‘economic life’ still so very topical, if not outright indispensable for explaining the dynamics of the ‘capitalist’ system. In recognizing the role and importance of entrepreneurially driven innovation with the related forces of ‘creative destruction’ as intrinsically market-based phenomena, Schumpeterian notions indeed seem to have gained new momentum in today’s economic debate about the very understanding of entrepreneurially driven systems, including competitive entrepreneurial behaviour with emphasis on related entrepreneurship education.2 This is against a bibliographical background of his ‘Theory’ which, from time to time almost forgotten, widely misread or misinterpreted, took a full 14 years until its second, in parts radically revised and modified edition was published in 1926.3 In the foreword to the second edition Schumpeter explicitly voices his irritation that readers of the earlier...
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