Cross-Fertilization and Entrepreneurial Creativity

Ed Lazear’s jack-of-all-trades model, in which people with diverse skills and experience are more likely than specialists to become entrepreneurs, emphasizes the value of cross-fertilization. Ideas from one “knowledge domain” may be useful in another.

Here’s a good example (via Mike Cook): a Missouri transportation engineer with a farming background has developed a new snowplow, capable of clearing multiple lanes at once, modeled after a common piece of farm equipment.

Entrepreneurship as Effectuation

Congratulations to Saras Sarasvathy, whose new book on “effectual thinking” made the cover of Inc. Magazine. It was a pleasure hosting Saras here at the McQuinn Center in 2009 for a paper and presentation on effectuation, a model of entrepreneurial thinking that emphasizes control of resources at hand, under Knightian uncertainty, with ambiguous goals and and an unpredictable future.

The Firm and Strategic Factor Markets

A new McQuinn Center Working Paper has been posted to SSRN, “The Firm and Strategic Factor Markets: Analyzing the Role of the Firm in the Creation of and Pricing in Factor Markets.” Here’s the abstract:

The theory of imputation, as analyzed and elaborated on by influential thinkers in the Austrian school of economics, tends to explain how prices of factors are “imputed” from prices of consumer goods and, more specifically, how consumers value products and services offered in the market. However, the theory of imputation explains this process in already existing markets for capital goods and factors. This paper extends the theory through attempting to explain how such markets arise, and more specifically what the role of the entrepreneur and the firm are in this process.

Three New Review Papers

Via O&M, three review papers on entrepreneurship and organizations:

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