Is social entrepreneurship an individual game?

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Bubba posts

In a recent paper review my analysis was questioned on the basis that I do not pay enough attention to individuals and because Schumpeter “pointed out that entrepreneurship is an individual act” it makes little sense to talk about groups and even less about organizations. It is always striking how reviewers tend to think that there actually is some sort of consensus in (certain aspects) of social entrepreneurship research. Given my interest in Veblenian institutional economics it may come as no surprise that I don’t think indviduals can accomplish anything and there are indeed many scholars who are skeptical about the individual approach. Gartner and Co. made this clear more that 15 years ago: “the entrepreneur in entrepreneurship is more likely to be plural, rather than singular. The locus of entrepreneurial activity often resides not in one person, but in many”. Even Schumpeter reached the same conclusion in his later work: “The entrepreneurial function need not be embodied in a physical person and in particular in a single physical person. Every social environment has its own ways of filling the entrepreneurial function.” Again, what worries me about those reviewing social entrepreneurship articles is not so much their knowledge about the social issues as much as their knowledge about what entrepreneurship is.



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