Strategy and Entrepreneurship: Outlines of an Untold Story
35 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2001
Date Written: 2001
In his book "Invention," Professor Norbert Wiener (1993), commenting on the relative importance accorded to individuals and institutions in historical narratives of science and inventions, asks us to imagine Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" without either Romeo or the balcony. The story is just not the same. He likens much of the study of the economic history of science and accounts of inventions as "all balcony and no Romeo." The balcony for Norbert Wiener captures the context in which the story unfolds?the culture, the institutions, the constraints, and the catalysts that move the plot forward and thicken it. Romeos, for Wiener, play the leading parts in the story, because there is a strong fortuitous element to inventions and there is no inevitability that a possible discovery will be made at a given time and space. Take away either one, Romeo or the balcony, and the whole story falls apart. In a similar vein, we would liken studies of strategic management to "all balcony and no Romeo." But if we accuse strategic management of being "all balcony and no Romeo," strategic management scholars could legitimately accuse entrepreneurship of being "all Romeo and no balcony."
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