Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 10: The Praxeological Concept of International Entrepreneurship

J. Patrick Gunning


J. Patrick Gunning The dual aim of this chapter is to summarize the theory of praxeological entrepreneurship that I have been developing in recent research and to show its relevance to international economics. In my 1990 book, I used the term ‘new subjectivism’ to refer to Ludwig von Mises’s praxeology, or theory of action (Mises, 1966). I defined entrepreneurship in terms of the method one must use to identify and elucidate the properties of action in the market economy. I wrote that ‘Entrepreneurship is that part of economic interaction under the conditions specified in the definition of the market economy that cannot be represented by robots’ (Gunning, 1990: 85). To identify and elucidate its properties, one must use the method of contrasting interaction in the market economy with an image of a robot economy, from which such interaction is necessarily absent. I proceeded to derive what I called three fundamental categories of entrepreneurial action: appraisement of factors of production, undertaking and uncertainty bearing. To appraise factors means to identify them and to estimate the ‘net benefits of using a prospective factor according to a production plan’ (Gunning, 1997: 176). I claimed that economics assumes that every normal human being possesses these categories. Identifying and elucidating the properties of entrepreneurship is important in economics because it is the first step in dealing with the enormous complexity of the market economy. To identify patterns in this complex, we begin by building simple images of the market economy based...

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