The Meaning of Entrepreneurship: Towards a Modular Concept

34 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2006 Last revised: 9 Jul 2012

See all articles by Michael R. Peneder

Michael R. Peneder

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Date Written: March 31, 2006


Entrepreneurship has been characterised as one of the most intriguing but equally elusive concepts in economics. This paper first tries to disentangle its major intellectual roots. Instead of amalgamating them into another all-inclusive synthesis, it then aims at a modular concept that preserves essential distinctions along its behavioural, functional, and occupational dimensions. It arrives at the conclusion that the behavioural definition identifies the only attribute that is both comprehensive and unique to the nature of entrepreneurship, while the functional and occupational differentiations form proper sub-classes, which add the specifity required for many analytical purposes.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, market co-ordination, innovation, technology diffusion, occupational choice

JEL Classification: M13, B15, B25

Suggested Citation

Peneder, Michael R., The Meaning of Entrepreneurship: Towards a Modular Concept (March 31, 2006). Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Michael R. Peneder (Contact Author)

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) ( email )

P.O. Box 91
Wien, A-1103

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