Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth
Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok
Chapter 9: Collective entrepreneurship: the strategic management of Research Triangle Park
The entrepreneur and the actions of the entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, have over time been characterized in many ways, and those characterizations are as varied as the scholars who have proffered them. As Hébert and Link (1989, p. 41) wrote, ‘the entrepreneur has worn many faces and played many roles.’ But Hébert and Link (2009) go further, synthesizing extant thought by suggesting that an entrepreneur is one who perceives opportunity and has the ability to act on that perception. Perception and action describe the entrepreneur as a dynamic, not static, figure in economic activity. It follows then that entrepreneurship entails a process that begins with perception and is completed with action. This action may or may not be successful over time. Regardless of how the market reacts to the entrepreneurial undertaking, boldness and risk taking have nevertheless been demonstrated. When it comes to places – meaning physical localities – rarely is it the case that the perception of opportunity and the ability to act on that perception are embodied in a single individual. This is not to say that one individual is not capable of such behavior. Machlup (1980, p. 179) noted that an entrepreneur is ‘alert and quick-minded, [one who perceives] what normal people of lesser alertness and perceptiveness would fail to notice.’
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