Chapter 43: Schumpeter, Creative Destruction and Entrepreneurship
43 Schumpeter, creative destruction and entrepreneurship Dieter Bögenhold Following many years in which the political and scientific debate was fixed on large and very large firms, which were regarded as the guarantors and drivers of economic prosperity, of technical progress and of secure and growing employment, the tide began to turn, slowly but surely, at the beginning of the 1980s, with the result that more interest arose in self-employment and in small and medium-sized enterprises. The transformation which entrepreneurship underwent in the eyes of the public, especially in more critical social and economic circles, can be described as a change from demons to demiurges, who in Greek mythology were regarded as a kind of innovative creators of worlds (Bögenhold and Staber, 1994). Since then, we have been able to observe a multicoloured political alliance in favour of entrepreneurship. At the same time when unemployment had climbed into comparatively high figures which were unknown for the decades before, smaller economic units were increasingly seen as beacons of hope for economic and labour market policies. Also, talking entrepreneurship has become very fashionable but the more one comes across the term the more one has to confess that no consensual understanding exists as to the meaning of the term. Entrepreneurship seems to be poorly defined and, furthermore, the concept is almost based on non-questioned assumptions. One has to differentiate what entrepreneurship is (and can be) and that the phenomenon is more complex in reality than public discourse sometimes suggests. Entrepreneurship has...
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