The Concept of Entrepreneurship
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The concept of entrepreneurship has been around for a few hundred years, but in that time a universally accepted definition has proved elusive. Important in any definition of entrepreneurship is the entrepreneur. What makes an entrepreneur different from someone who isnt, has also proved difficult to define. There are many factors that may contribute to the success of the entrepreneur and these must be viewed within the context of the act of entrepreneurship (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). Successful entrepreneurs may provide useful insights into what differentiates entrepreneurs from others. Steve Jobs is widely regarded as the face of modern innovation (Gobble, 2012). The company he created is one of the most valuable in the world (Rushe, 2011). The factors that contributed to his success are considered, with reference to the entrepreneurship theories discussed.
There are many definitions of entrepreneurship throughout the academic literature on the subject. This is invariably due to the field of entrepreneurship being studied by academics from many disciplines, including economics, psychology and sociology. It is important to include in any definition of entrepreneurship, the recognition of the coming together of a number of critical factors. Without any of these, the process of entrepreneurship would not occur. Schaper, Volery, Weber, & Lewis, (2011) define entrepreneurship as the process, brought about by individuals, of identifying new entrepreneurial opportunities and converting them into marketable products or services . This definition binds the following factors together: the identification of the entrepreneurial opportunity, the creation of something (the marketable product or service) and the individual who drives this process. This definition ignores the risks and rewards associated with entrepreneurship. Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd, (2010) define entrepreneurship as the process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort; assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks and uncertainties; and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction. While a more extensive definition, it ignores the recognition of the entrepreneurial opportunity. Hence, a more complete definition is: the process of creating a valuable new product or service, brought about by individuals who are willing to, devote the necessary time and energy, assume the risk and uncertainties and receive the resulting rewards.
The individual in the above definition is the entrepreneur. What role an entrepreneur plays within the process of entrepreneurship and what personal factors determine their success, has been investigated by many scholars. Numerous studies have been conducted with the aim of determining what personal attributes or behaviours make entrepreneurs different from those who are not, and thus creating a profile of an entrepreneur or an entrepreneurship profile. The economic perspectives have the entrepreneur playing the role of the bearer of uncertainty (Knight, 1921), alert opportunist (Kirzner, 1973) or innovator (Schumpeter, 1934) amongst others. Kirzner sees the entrepreneur as someone who is alert to an opportunity to make a profit from a price difference or gap in the market (Kirzner, 1973). He views the entrepreneur as anyone who recognizes this opportunity and acts on it before someone else does. Kirzners entrepreneur is not necessarily innovative, and maybe simply be a market trader who is alert to an entrepreneurial opportunity. For Kirzner, the entrepreneur reacts to opportunities based on asymmetric knowledge of a market. Kirzners entrepreneur is different from other people because of the knowledge they hold. Therefore while they have that information and act on it, they are within the context of being an entrepreneur.
Schumpeter (1934) described the entrepreneur as an innovator, someone who takes an innovative idea and with it creates a new venture. He viewed the entrepreneur as someone special who created change by introducing new methods of production or products and thus disrupting the economic static flow (Frank, 1998) . Schumpeters version of an entrepreneur has often been described in terms of function, but he did make assertions as to the types of behaviour exhibited by an entrepreneur (Endres & Woods, 2010). Schumpeter (1934) states the entrepreneur is driven by the need to succeed for the sake of success itself and acts on opportunities in such a way that is liberated from the dictation of routine. The success of the entrepreneur requires tacit knowledge and depends on intuition (as cited in Endres & Woods, 2010) . Schumpeter suggests these behaviours are a continuum that describes different types of entrepreneurs. By doing so, he suggests there are varying types of entrepreneur, with those at the high end being prime agents of change. This type of entrepreneur is likely to create a high growth enterprise. Schumpeter also indicated the importance of context in understanding these behaviours, encouraging further study to understand how behaviour varies in different entrepreneurial situations (Endres & Woods, 2010).
The psychological approach to the role of the entrepreneur looks for traits or attributes that differentiates an entrepreneur from someone who is not. Among the many characteristics suggested, there are three that have been studied widely and may show some validity in influencing the success of the entrepreneurs activities (Gartner, 1985). These are the need for achievement, risk taking propensity and internal locus of control. The internal locus of control is the general belief that individuals have, in their own abilities to control the situations they are in (Brockhaus, 1982). It is closely related to self-efficacy, which refers to the belief in ones abilities to complete a specific task (Chen, Greene, & Crick, 1998). There are difficulties with characterising entrepreneurs using personality traits. Traits are difficult to define and measure, they are also not static and may change over time and in different situations. Traits may be influenced by environment or culture and therefore results from studies in one country may hold no value in another (Carter & Jones-Evans, 2012). More recent studies have taken a more contextual approach to studying personality traits, matching them with specific entrepreneurial tasks (Rauch & Frese, 2007), showing some positive correlation between certain personality traits and entrepreneurial success.
As a universal definition of entrepreneurship has been difficult to establish, it follows that the establishment of an entrepreneurship profile is also challenging. The theories discussed