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The Entrepreneurial Theory of the Firm and the Theory of the Entrepreneurial Firm

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  • Richard N. Langlois

Abstract

The entrepreneurial theory of the firm argues that entrepreneurship, properly understood, is a crucial but neglected element in explaining the nature and boundaries of the firm. By contrast, the theory of the entrepreneurial firm presumably seeks not to understand the nature and boundaries of 'the firm' in general but rather to understand a particular type of firm: one that is entrepreneurial. This paper is an attempt to reconcile the two. After briefly delving for the concept of entrepreneurship in the work of Schumpeter, Kirzner, and (especially) Knight, the paper makes the case for the entrepreneurial theory of the firm. In such a theory, the firm exists as the solution to a coordination problem in a world of change and uncertainty, including Knightian or structural uncertainty. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard N. Langlois, 2007. "The Entrepreneurial Theory of the Firm and the Theory of the Entrepreneurial Firm," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(7), pages 1107-1124, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:7:p:1107-1124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Langlois & Giampaolo Garzarelli, 2008. "Of Hackers and Hairdressers: Modularity and the Organizational Economics of Open-source Collaboration," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 125-143.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartz, Wiebke & Winkler, Adalbert, 2016. "Flexible or fragile? The growth performance of small and young businesses during the global financial crisis — Evidence from Germany," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 196-215.
    2. Giovanni Favero & Vladi Finotto & Anna Moretti, 2016. "Historicizing Entrepreneurial Imprinting: Sensitive Periods, Cognitive Frames and Resistance," Working Papers 10, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    3. repec:arp:bmerar:2017:p:218-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:rujoec:v:2:y:2016:i:1:p:86-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lionel Desiage, 2010. "What are Entrepreneurs' Objectives When Starting a New Business?," Working Papers halshs-00809716, HAL.
    6. Bettiol, M & Di Maria, E & Finotto, Vladi, 2012. "Marketing in smes: the role of entrepreneurial sensemaking," MPRA Paper 39405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nicolai J. Foss, 2013. "Knowledge governance: meaning, origins and implications," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Chassagnon, Virgile, 2014. "Consummate cooperation in the network-firm: Theoretical insights and empirical findings," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 260-274.
    9. 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.
    10. Virgile Chassagnon & Naciba Haned & Christian Le Bas, 2016. "The Determinants Of Organisational Creativity Methods: An Empirical Study Based On A French Survey," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(04), pages 1-23, May.
    11. repec:spr:scient:v:94:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0744-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Vladi Finotto & Anna Moretti, 2014. "Unveiling the founder effect: a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial imprinting," Working Papers 07, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    13. Nicolai J. Foss & Peter G. Klein, 2013. "Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial governance and economic organization," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 22 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Richard Langlois, 2013. "The Institutional Revolution: A review essay," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 383-395, December.
    15. Jürgen Wandel, 2011. "Business groups and competition in post-Soviet transition economies: The case of Russian “agroholdings”," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 403-450, December.
    16. 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.
    17. Mats Forsgren, 2016. "A note on the revisited Uppsala internationalization process model – the implications of business networks and entrepreneurship," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(9), pages 1135-1144, December.
    18. Maria Rosaria Marcone, 2009. "THE COMPETITIVE REPOSITIONING OF SMEs WITHIN THE PROCESS OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(2), pages 101-122.
    19. Klein, Peter G. & Mahoney, Joseph T. & McGahan, Anita M. & Pitelis, Christos N., 2009. "Toward a Theory of Public Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 09-0106, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    20. Saskia Crucke & Mirjam Knockaert, 2016. "When Stakeholder Representation Leads to Faultlines. A Study of Board Service Performance in Social Enterprises," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 768-793, July.
    21. Ehret, Michael, 2014. "Financial socialism: The role of financial economics in economic disorganization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2686-2692.
    22. Mohammad Keyhani & Moren Lévesque & Anoop Madhok, 2015. "Toward a theory of entrepreneurial rents: A simulation of the market process," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 76-96, January.
    23. Truls Erikson & Nicolai S Løvdal & Arild Aspelund, 2015. "Entrepreneurial Judgment and Value Capture, the Case of the Nascent Offshore Renewable Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-14, November.
    24. Marco Bellandi & Lisa De Propris, 2012. "Small Firms and Industrial Districts," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 27 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    25. Guo, Liang & Wei, Yinghong Susan & Sharma, Ruchi & Rong, Ke, 2017. "Investigating e-business models’ value retention for start-ups: The moderating role of venture capital investment intensity," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 33-45.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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