Interview in eTalks

images (1)I am interviewed in the latest edition of Entrepreneurial Talks, better known as eTalks. “It’s a multi-disciplinary community of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders who share a common denominator to create a better world with innovative entrepreneurial ideas.” Interviewer Niaz Uddin asks me about entrepreneurship in theory and practice, how economics and other academic disciplines fit into entrepreneurship education, the role of institutions and public policies in fostering entrepreneurship, and more.


Review of Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment

The forthcoming Autumn 2013 issue of Policy, published by the Centre for Independent Studies, features a nice review of my Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment (with Nicolai Foss).

Foss and Klein . . . focus on what the entrepreneur brings to economic production and the skills that must be exercised in creating a profit-making enterprise — the firm or organisation. Their contribution, and it is a major and well-argued one, is full of historical and theoretical detail that drives their theme of the entrepreneur as not just an “ideas” man or woman, but one who creates, when successful, an organisation that finds and orders the capital and processes appropriate to the tasks of producing goods and services at a profit.

Reviewer Barry Maley says the book explains “the essential intertwining of entrepreneurship with the firm” and offers, for the general reader, “an accessible insight into a subject central to economic production,” and is “relatively light on jargon and technicalities.”

Job Opening in Regional Economics

Missouri’s DASS and Truman School are looking for an assistant professor specializing in regional and spatial economics:

We seek applicants working in the modeling, integration, and assessment of regional economies to inform public and private decision-making.  Applicants’ substantive training and expertise may be in any discipline relevant to regional economics, including applied or agricultural economics, public policy, state and local public finance or similar fields. Applicants should have a strong scholarly record in spatial econometrics and regional analysis.  Dynamic simulation modeling methods for regional analysis is desirable.  The successful candidate will have a strong record of applied research and working collaboratively across policy areas as they affect regions, i.e., policies and their impacts on regions, regional governance, state and local public finance, infrastructure and the built environment, agriculture, environment and natural resources, food security, and public health, as examples.

See this link for full details and application instructions. Please circulate to potentially interested parties.

NBER Entrepreneurship Research Boot Camp

Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship research for PhD students and young scholars/career academics. While the boot camp will hardly cover issues such as judgment and imagination, which we commonly research and talk about here at the McQuinn Center, it should provide a great overview of mainstream/mainline entrepreneurship research – particularly what Peter Klein (2008) calls the occupational and structural approaches.

Call for participants below the fold. Read more of this post

Academic Entrepeneurship Quote of the Day

From T. W. Schultz, in his 1979 Kaldor Memorial Lecture, “Concept of Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Research”:

Within our universities, academic entrepreneurship is much more important than we realize. Show me a university that allocates its resources in a purely routine manner over any extended period and I will show you that that university is on a declining path. Presidents, deans, and directors of research are obviously academic entrepreneurs. So are heads of departments who are worthwhile having. Nor do I exclude the teaching and research functions of the faculty. The stock of knowledge and the theoretical opportunities in research are not fixed once and for all. Routine teachers are a liability and routine research workers, which contradicts the meaning of research, if nevertheless there are such, they are failures. Not least is the fact that consumption opportunities are also changing, and inasmuch as pure consumption also entails time, here too people are reallocating their own time in response to changing opportunities.

The thrust of my argument thus far is that over our respective life cycles all of us, as well as everybody else, given our dynamic society with special reference to the economy, is an entrepreneur. Whether a person is bad or good in performing this function is quite another matter.

For more on Schultz see this 2006 article by Mike Cook and myself.

Ivo Zander at Missouri, on Art and Entrepreneurship

Ivo Zander is a keynote speaker at the Cultural Bricolage conference co-sponsored by the McQuinn Center. Zander is Anders Wall Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University. He speaks Tuesday, November 13, 10:15-11:15, Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union, on “Art and Entrepreneurship: Together and Apart.” Come join us!

Cooking as Entrepreneurship

[Cross-posted at Organizations and Markets]

To honor Julia Child on her 100th birthday, Lynne Kiesling writes a nice post combining three of my favorite things: cooking, entrepreneurship theory, and Austrian economics. Good cooking is about the combination of heterogeneous resources, it requires experimentation and creativity, and it either works or it doesn’t. Most important:

A system that will yield the most valuable and pleasing combinations of entrepreneurial economic or cooking activities will have low entry barriers (anyone can try to cook!) and a robust feedback-based system of error correction. Low entry barriers facilitate creativity in discovering new useful products from the raw elements, as well as enabling new value creation when some of those raw elements change. Error correction, whether a “yuck, that’s gross!” at home or a lack of profits due to low repeat business at a restaurant, is most effective and valuable when there are feedback loops that can inform the cook-producer about the value that the consumer did or did not get from the dish.

This emphasis on error correction highlights one of my differences with Kirzner’s approach to entrepreneurship. In Kirzner’s system, which emphasizes entrepreneurship as a coordinating agency, the entrepreneur is modeled as “piercing the fog” of uncertainty — hence the familiar metaphor of entrepreneurship as the discovery of preexisting profit opportunities. My approach focuses on action, not discovery, and gives a larger role to uncertainty. What generates coordination, in this approach, is the entrepreneurial selection process, not the “correctness” of entrepreneurial decisions.

Incidentally, Saras Sarasvathy often uses cooking to illustrate her “effectual” approach to entrepreneurial decision-making (i.e., cooks don’t always follow a recipe to produce a known dish, but use the ingredients they have in a sequential, experimental process). And for more on food, see here and here.

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