Directions for the Sustainable Development and Competitiveness of Regions
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 8: A multidimensional perspective on entrepreneurship
‘We are all entrepreneurs now’. The quotation is the title of an article by Pozen (2008) in which he documented and analyzed the use of the entrepreneurship concept outside its mainstream, economic context. This mainstream literature has empirically stuck to relatively simple and robust definitions of the concept: the starting up of new businesses or being selfemployed. Also the theoretical contributions, from Cantillon (1755), via Schumpeter (1911/1934), Knight (1921) and Kirzner (1973), to Shane and Venkataraman (2000)–including the literature on ‘intrapreneurship’ (Pinchot and Pinchot, 1978; Pinchot, 1985 etc.)–have one clear thing in common with the mainstream empirical literature: they both restrict the concept of entrepreneurship to the business sphere of society. Many of the general definitions of entrepreneurship are centered on the discovery (or creation) of business opportunities and the gathering of resources to exploit them. One example is that by Shane (2003, p. 4): ‘Entrepreneurship is an activity that includes the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities to introduce new goods and services, ways of organizing, markets, processes, and raw materials, through organizing efforts that previously had not existed.’
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