What is entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship as a teaching and research field has been struggling to define and establish itself. It is usually associated with the creation of new organizations (start-ups) and thus it relates to the initial stages of the life of an organization (e.g. Stinchcombe, 1965) and the difficulties its entrepreneurs/founders encounter in obtaining and mobilizing resources to deliver a “new” good.

In order to obtain resources, entrepreneurs need to “sell” their initiatives, champion them, to try to convince others to contribute their resources in order to make the initiative/good a (successful) reality.

The idea to create an organization stems from the entrepreneur’s perception of an opportunity to offer a “new” good and thus taking a risk in investing time and other resources in trying to make the “new” good successful.

Setting up the internal organization and making it scalable so it can grow is the third issue that the entrepreneurship literature addresses (e.g. Greiner, 1972).

It seems to me that the six conceptual and theoretical issues referred above – opportunity perception, initiative selling and resource acquisition, risk taking, organizational design and growth – are generic management topics which organizations face at different stages of their life (e.g. Burgelman, 1983; Penrose, 1959; Dutton & Jackson, 1988). Actually, entrepreneurship comes from the French verb ”entreprendre”, which means to take initiative, to resolve to act.

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