Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Opportunities
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Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Reopening the Debate

Edited by Catherine Léger-Jarniou and Silke Tegtmeier

With a wide-ranging set of contributions, this book provides a compilation of cutting-edge original research in the field of entrepreneurial opportunities. The book reopens the subject from diverse perspectives focusing on theories and approaches to entrepreneurial opportunities. The book has been complemented by an outstanding Delphi panel of six leading scholars of the field: Lowell Busenitz, Dimo Dimov, James O. Fiet, Denis Grégoire, Jeff McMullen and Mike Wright. This carefully edited selection of current and topical contributions will be of immense value to students, researchers and scholars interested in the field of entrepreneurial opportunities.
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Chapter 3: Austrian market theory and the entrepreneurial function as opportunity recognition

Frederic Sautet

Abstract

Opportunity recognition has been largely absent from mainstream economics. More precisely, it has been absent from the theoretical corpus of the instrumental-causal tradition in economics, which upholds prices as parameters. But another strain of market theory, the genetic-causal view, sees the market as a dynamic, entrepreneurial system. Within this line of thinking, one can trace the evolution of entrepreneurial theory as the development of the “entrepreneurial function” from its inception in the work of Richard Cantillon to the development of modern Austrian market process theory. This chapter presents the evolution of that function and argues that opportunity recognition, while absent from mainstream economics, constitutes the core of Austrian market theory. Opportunity recognition is built on alertness, that is, the propensity to notice opportunities for profit.

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