Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship

Posted: 4 Nov 2009

See all articles by Calvin A. Kent

Calvin A. Kent

Marshall University - Lewis College of Business

Donald L. Sexton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Karl H. Vesper

University of Washington - Department of Management & Organization

Date Written: 1982


Reviews the state of entrepreneurship research from multiple frameworks, including sociological and psychological views of the entrepreneur, economic development, venture capital, and education. Entrepreneurship is defined as the creation of new business enterprises by individuals or small groups, with the entrepreneur assuming the role of society's major agent of change, initiating the industrial progress that leads to wider cultural shifts. Entrepreneurship research flourished in the 1970s, with growing general public interest, an increase in course offerings, and rising federal interest and spending. These trends point to the necessity of synthesizing entrepreneurship research, which is still in its infant stage. With this goal in mind, the book is divided into five categories of research: (1) the entrepreneur (general definitions, psychology and sociology); (2) entrepreneurial technology (small vs. big business, venture and risk capital; (3) progress (economic growth and development, innovation, and environmental factors); (4) academia (methods and directions of research and education); and, finally (5) areas for future study. While findings from the reviewed research provide important insights into entrepreneurship, overall the literature lacks a clear basis for understanding the effects and effectiveness of entrepreneurship education -- that is, what the entrepreneurial process consists of, and whether it can be taught or learned. In addition, as most of the studies are considered 'exploratory,' more developed, systematic research methods need to be implemented as the field develops. After all, it is concluded, policies based on entrepreneurship research will play a key role in shaping not only industry, but our society's rate of progress and future well-being. (CJC)

Keywords: Entrepreneurship research, Innovation process, Venture capital, Risk orientation, Economic development, Entrepreneurial environment, Corporate entrepreneurship, Change agents, Entrepreneurship education, Cultural values, Research opportunities

Suggested Citation

Kent, Calvin A. and Sexton, Donald L. and Vesper, Karl H., Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship (1982). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1496225

Calvin A. Kent (Contact Author)

Marshall University - Lewis College of Business ( email )

400 Hal Greer Boulevard
Huntington, WV 25755
United States

Donald L. Sexton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Karl H. Vesper

University of Washington - Department of Management & Organization ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States

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