Edited by Hans Landström and Franz T. Lohrke
1. History matters in entrepreneurship research Franz Lohrke and Hans Landström Entrepreneurship investigates how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not, and, in turn, how these opportunities result in product, firm, industry and wealth creation (Brush et al., 2003; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). In a period of ‘creative destruction’ in society, entrepreneurship as a research field emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, paralleled and reinforced by a host of external factors (e.g. government policy-makers) around the world that supported entrepreneurship. Along with these external factors functioning as a springboard for the growth of entrepreneurship research, several intra-scientific explanations could also be found. For example the field showed increasing opportunities for empirical research and, equally important, the research field offered great opportunities in terms of research funds, endowed chairs, and publication outlets. As a result, scholars from many different disciplines rushed into this promising field of research. Since its emergence in the 1970s and 1980s research on entrepreneurship has grown tremendously (Landström, 2005), with respect to the number of researchers, published articles, conferences, and journals focused on or opening up for entrepreneurial contributions. Indeed, the growth is obvious, irrespective of the measurements employed (Katz, 2003). We are often told that entrepreneurship is very young as a field of research, and that the field is highly ahistorical in character. The assumption underlying this statement is often that the pace of change in society today makes...
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