September 29, 2011 Leave a comment
In a previous post, I wrote of the recent workshop on evolutionary thinking that occurred in Hertfordshire in late September. One of the delegates was Markus Becker of the University of Southern Denmark. I was pleased to meet him there and thank him for the timely publication of a new book with his college at USD, Thorbjørn Knudsen, and the sociologist Richard Swedberg, The Entrepreneur: Classic texts by Joseph A. Schumpeter. This is a new publication from Stanford University Press in which the editors have presented eight pieces by Schumpeter on the entrepreneur and entrepreneurship that span Schumpeter’s career. Importantly, they add some new translations of pieces that had not been available except in German, especially two pieces from 1928 that bridge the thinking between The Theory of Economic Development (1911) and Business Cycles (1942). The introduction also delivers value to the reader as the editors place the eight pieces in context. Importantly, one can now see the evolution of Schumpeter’s entrepreneur from the early presentations as heroic economic figure to a more appealing agent of the entrepreneurial function, including teams of individuals within large “trustified” firms that share the function.
This is a must-read for scholars interested in the role of the entrepreneur in theory, particularly given the historical context of moving from late 19th century Continental Europe to the tumultuous American economy of WWII.