Handbook on Organisational Entrepreneurship
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Handbook on Organisational Entrepreneurship

Edited by Daniel Hjorth

Organisational entrepreneurship represents an interdisciplinary field of research that relates organisation, entrepreneurship and innovation studies in new ways. This Handbook establishes the scope of this interdisciplinary domain, challenges our perception of relationships between organisation(s) and entrepreneurship, and asks new questions central to our capacity to describe, analyse and understand organisational entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 1: Entrepreneurship as organisation creation

William B. Gartner


The purpose of this chapter is to off er some insights into why and how the phenomenon of organization creation has a strong relationship to what, I believe, is the essential nature of entrepreneurship. Indeed, I suggest that a close reading of primary historical texts in the entrepreneurship field (e.g., Cantillon, 1755 [2001]; Say, 1800 [2010]; Schumpeter, 1934 [1983]) would indicate that the phenomenon of organization creation plays a primary role in the evolution of ideas in entrepreneurship field. Also, see Herbert and Link (1988), Baumol (1993), and Bull and Willard (1993) for a history of definitions of entrepreneurship. Organization creation is about entrepreneurship, and vice versa. As I have argued in the past (Gartner, 1985; 1988; 1990; 1993; 2008; 2007; Gartner and Brush, 2007), my view of what organization creation ‘is’ entails the rubric of ‘organizing’ (Weick, 1979), which I believe should play an encompassing ontological role (Thompson, 2011) in the entrepreneurship field. I begin with Weick’s definition of organizing: ‘a consensually validated grammar for reducing equivocality by means of sensible interlocked behaviors’ (Weick, 1979: 3) as a starting point. I suggest that entrepreneurship must have, in some sense, some kind of ‘organizing’ component. What ever the entrepreneur does, or whatever the entrepreneurial activity entails, or what ever an entrepreneurial phenomenon is, must in some respects, involve the organization (‘the organizing’) of something: e.g., an environment, an opportunity, a market, a process, technology, group, business, a person’s thoughts, etc.

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