EntrepHist - Entrepreneurship History: Implications for...

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Entrepreneurship History: Implications for Aspiring Contributors Robert Desman Kennesaw State University 1000 Chastain Road • Kennesaw GA, 30144 id8@randomc.com • 770/425-5361
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Introduction No single subject has garnered more attention over the past twenty-five years than has entrepreneurship. A quick Google search of the term, in its various forms, generates over 24 million “hits” (Google, 2008) up over ten fold in the past year (Google, 2007). At least forty academic journals are totally dedicated to herald its characteristics and significance. It is the darling of academic conferences, higher education curricula, a host of self-help books, and, unique among the bulk of business school fare, it can even claim its own trade magazine. Over 100 centers devoted to its study and teachings have emerged in the United States alone. And, currently, 21.1% of U.S. schools offer undergraduate majors in entrepreneurship, 15.3% offer MBA concentrations, and 1.5% a specialized Masters degree (Fernandes, 2006). The future of entrepreneurship is forecast to witness even greater significance and popularity of the field. The prestigious AACSB, predicts: 1) the field will mature into a distinct management discipline, 2) its elements will become essential to any business education, 3) the distinction between education and practice will become irrelevant, 4) “research will more significantly influence policy and economic development worldwide,” and 5) it will produce radically different faculty models at business schools around the globe (Fernandes, 2006). To suggest that entrepreneurship is a “hot topic” is to understate the obvious. Most noteworthy in this flurry of activity is that the terms entrepreneur and entrepreneurship have no commonly accepted definitions. This absence of specified content or boundaries, however, has not appeared to discourage the proliferation of contributions to the field or its impact. In fact, it has, likely, had just the opposite effect.
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For reasons that will become clear, it is not the purpose of this study to provide the definition around which all might rally. Instead, this effort focuses on tracing the development of the definition of entrepreneurship, identifying where it might have “definitionally” derailed, and, in doing so discover means by which similar mishaps may be avoided and the current situation exacerbated. An additional objective is to alert pioneering thinkers to the linguistic pitfalls that dot the research landscape and exhibit a potential to weaken their contributions. Although the focus of this study is entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, the findings and conclusions are applicable to any stream of inquiry. Entrepreneurship:
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EntrepHist - Entrepreneurship History: Implications for...

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