Definitions of Entrepreneurship
Miami University of Ohio Entrepreneurship Center
Sloan note: In the interest of full disclosure, among other universities attended (Maryland, Syracuse, Indiana, Ohio U, Ohio State) I must include Miami of Ohio (Political Science PhD program; voluntarily dropped out at the year mark – I found out what they pay those guys in that discipline! Business is a whopping amount better. In the spirit of due diligence, you can burn a whole lot of time through sheer naiveté). Researchers have been inconsistent in their definitions of entrepreneurship (Brockhaus & Horwitz, 1986, Sexton & Smilor, Wortman, 1987; Gartner, 1988). Definitions have emphasized a broad range of activities including the creation of organizations (Gartner, 1988), the carrying out of new combinations (Schumpeter, 1934), the exploration of opportunities (Kirzner, 1973), the bearing of uncertainty (Knight 1921), the bringing together of factors of production (Say, 1803), and others (See Long, 1983). The outline below presents some authors definitions of entrepreneurship and attempts to summarize these viewpoints into a more meaningful whole. Richard Cantillon (circa 1730); Entrepreneurship is defined as self-employment of any sort. Entrepreneurs buy at certain prices in the present and sell at uncertain prices in the future. The entrepreneur is a bearer of uncertainty. Jean Baptiste Say (1816); The entrepreneur is the agent "who unites all means of production and who finds in the value of the products...the reestablishment of the entire capital he employs, and the value of the wages, the interest, and rent which he pays, as well as profits belonging to himself." Frank Knight (1921); Entrepreneurs attempt to predict and act upon change within markets. Knight emphasize the entrepreneur's role in bearing the uncertainty of market dynamics. Entrepreneurs are required to perform such fundamental managerial functions as direction and control. Joseph Schumpeter (1934)...
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