The unit of analysis in entrepreneurship research : opportunities or investments?
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The entrepeneurship literature in management focuses increasingly on opportunities — their creation or discovery, evaluation, and exploitation — as the unit of analysis. We argue first, that the opportunity perspective emerged from the “functional” literature in the economics of entrepreneurship (mainly the works of Israel Kirzner), a literature that emphasizes not the in- dividual entrepreneur per se, but the functions (e.g., market clearing) that entrepreneurs under- take in a market economy; second, that most notions of entrepreneurship in economics and management are not easily integrated into the theory of the firm; third, that the popular em- phasis on opportunity discovery tends to direct attention from opportunity exploitation; and fourth, that the Cantillon-Mises-Knight view of entrepreneurship as judgment links more na- turally with the economic theory of the firm.
UtgiverNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Department of Strategy and Management