Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur
This survey establishes a chronological trace of the entrepreneur as treated in economic literature in order to give a more wholesome perspective to contemporary writings and teachings on entrepreneurship. The authors review the historical nature and role of the entrepreneur as revealed in economic literature from the 18th century to the present. This survey shows the ambiguous nature of a concept that, due to Schumpeter's dominant influence, has come to occupy a primary role in the theory of economic development. In addition, there are other conceptions of entrepreneurship presented besides Schumpeter's. This historical survey also illustrates the tension that often exists between "theory" and "practice." We shall learn that it has been difficult for economic theory to assimilate a core concept that plays a vital role in social and economic change. Finally, the authors expose the many different facets of entrepreneurship as they have been perceived by some of the great economists throughout the ages.