Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research
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Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström and Franz T. Lohrke

This book historicizes entrepreneurship research, its primary thesis being ‘history matters’. Expert contributors discuss the field’s long history and explore whether it has developed a mature and comprehensive knowledge base. The intellectual roots of several important theories are then examined in depth because, as entrepreneurship research has become more theory driven, and scholars have borrowed theories from many different fields, it becomes increasingly important to understand their origin. Finally, the book demonstrates how economic history research (for example, the historical and institutional context of entrepreneurial behaviour) can contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 2: Entrepreneurship Research: A History of Scholarly Migration

Hans Landström and Mats Benner


Hans Landström and Mats Benner INTRODUCTION This book is about the historical foundations of entrepreneurship research. Thus, it appears natural to start by stating that entrepreneurship as an intellectual field has a long history – some pioneering contributions were published as far back as the eighteenth century, although more systematic entrepreneurship research only began in the 1970s and 1980s. The aim of this chapter is to provide a historical retrospect of the development of entrepreneurship as an intellectual field. We seek to answer the following questions: ‘How has the composition of the field changed over time?’ and ‘what main disciplines have dominated during different time periods?’ We address the issue from a particular angle, in that we study migration patterns to (and from) entrepreneurship research and analyze the consequences of migration for the composition of the field over time. Thus, the main subject of this chapter is the historical formation of entrepreneurship as an intellectual field. It is important to bear in mind that history can be depicted from many different perspectives and that various aspects can be focused upon. We therefore wish to stress that this is our own subjective description of history, and we are well aware that there might be other historical foundations of entrepreneurship research. In this chapter we argue that entrepreneurship as a phenomenon has attracted scholarly interest for a very long time. Since the early contributions in the eighteenth century, entrepreneurship has evolved through three eras in which it has been anchored...

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