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The Entrepreneurial Organization of Heterogeneous Capital

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  • Kirsten Foss
  • Nicolai J. Foss
  • Peter G. Klein
  • Sandra K. Klein

Abstract

Transaction cost, property rights, and resource-based approaches to the firm assume that assets, both tangible and intangible, are heterogeneous. Arranging these assets to minimize contractual hazards, to provide efficient investment incentives, or to exploit competitive advantage is conceived as the prime task of economic organization. None of these approaches, however, is based on a systematic theory of capital heterogeneity. In this paper we outline the approach to capital developed by the Austrian school of economics and show how Austrian capital theory provides a natural bridge between theory of entrepreneurship and the theory of the firm. We refine Austrian capital theory by defining capital heterogeneity in terms of subjectively perceived attributes, the functions, characteristics, and uses of capital assets. Such attributes are not given, but have to be created or discovered by means of entrepreneurial action. Conceiving entrepreneurship as the organization of heterogeneous capital provides new insights into the emergence, boundaries, and internal organization of the firm, and suggests testable implications about how entrepreneurship is manifested. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

Volume (Year): 44 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 1165-1186

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:7:p:1165-1186

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Lewin & Howard Baetjer, 2011. "The capital-based view of the firm," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 335-354, December.
  2. Ehret, Michael, 2014. "Financial socialism: The role of financial economics in economic disorganization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2686-2692.
  3. Anthony M. Endres & David A. Harper, 2012. "The kinetics of capital formation and economic organisation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(4), pages 963-980.
  4. Harper, David A. & Endres, Anthony M., 2010. "Capital as a layer cake: A systems approach to capital and its multi-level structure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 30-41, May.
  5. Kraaijenbrink, Jeroen & Spender, JC & Groen, Aard, 2009. "The resource-based view: A review and assessment of its critiques," MPRA Paper 21442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Minniti, Maria & Lévesque, Moren, 2008. "Recent developments in the economics of entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 603-612, November.
  7. Cumming, Douglas & Li, Dan, 2013. "Public policy, entrepreneurship, and venture capital in the United States," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 345-367.
  8. Foss, Nicolai J. & Klein, Peter G. & Kor, Yasemin Y. & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Subjectivism, and the Resource-Based View: Towards a New Synthesis," Working Papers 06-0121, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  9. Jürgen Wandel, 2011. "Business groups and competition in post-Soviet transition economies: The case of Russian “agroholdings”," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 403-450, December.

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