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A General Theory of Entrepreneurship
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A General Theory of Entrepreneurship

The Individual-Opportunity Nexus

9781843769965 Edward Elgar Publishing
Scott Shane, SBC Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, US
Publication Date: 2004 ISBN: 978 1 84376 996 5 Extent: 352 pp
In the first exhaustive treatment of the field in 20 years, Scott Shane extends the analysis of entrepreneurship by offering an overarching conceptual framework that explains the different parts of the entrepreneurial process – the opportunities, the people who pursue them, the skills and strategies used to organize and exploit opportunities, and the environmental conditions favorable to them – in a coherent way.

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Contents
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In the first exhaustive treatment of the field in 20 years, Scott Shane extends the analysis of entrepreneurship by offering an overarching conceptual framework that explains the different parts of the entrepreneurial process – the opportunities, the people who pursue them, the skills and strategies used to organize and exploit opportunities, and the environmental conditions favorable to them – in a coherent way.

Given the level of interest devoted to entrepreneurship in the economy and among academics at business schools, one would think that researchers would have deep insights into this phenomenon. However, those who look closely at academic investigations of entrepreneurship realize that scholarly understanding of this field is quite limited. Unlike its sister fields of accounting, marketing, finance, organizational behavior and strategic management, entrepreneurship is rather poorly explained by academics. Scott Shane resolves this by considering the nexus of enterprising individuals and valuable opportunities and by using that nexus to understand the processes of discovery and exploitation of opportunities, the acquisition of resources, entrepreneurial strategy and the organizing process.

This authoritative study will be a central reference and standard text for researchers, academics, and students in the field of entrepreneurship.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . Shane’s book is a fountain of knowledge and must-reading for everybody who tries to arrive at an integrated theory of entrepreneurship since the field is never isolated at a domain of one academic discipline. Among the plenty of new books in the field, the book by Scott Shane is a highlight and masterpiece since it tries to bring a new theoretical concept into debate which is, in fact, “a general theory of entrepreneurship”. The study ends up with a variety of open questions that raise hope that the author continues to work in an attempt for “The General Theory of Entrepreneurship”.’
– Dieter Bögenhold, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

‘A General Theory of Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a very important contemporary book in the field of entrepreneurship. It should be mandatory reading for PhD students who enter the area, and can be warmly recommended to those who already are “entrepreneurship researchers”.’
– Per Davidsson, International Small Business Journal

‘For me the General Theory of Entrepreneurship has been the most important compilation of knowledge in the 25 years that I have been teaching and researching in the field of entrepreneurship. As far as I can tell this may be the most important piece of literature in entrepreneurship since Schumpeter’s 1911 contribution. I have been recommending it to colleagues, requiring it of PhD students, suggesting it to MBA students and even trying to encourage undergraduates to read it.’
– Ed McMullan, University of Calgary, Canada

‘This ambitious book draws upon a wide variety of literature in developing a comprehensive theory of entrepreneurship, ranging from the discovery of entrepreneurial activities, to industry differences in entrepreneurial activity, to the organizing process. It represents a major contribution to the field.’
– Arnold C. Cooper, Purdue University, US

‘Professor Scott Shane provides a deep and comprehensive discussion of the individual–opportunity nexus in entrepreneurship. Eschewing the usual approaches of either focusing exclusively on the individuals and their motivations and actions or focusing exclusively, almost always ex-post, on the economic potential of opportunities, Scott Shane fixes his gaze squarely on the nexus of the individual and the opportunity. It is this nexus that I believe is the building block for a better understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon.’
– From the foreword by Sankaran Venkataraman
Contents
Contents: Foreword by Sankaran Venkataraman 1. Introduction 2. The Role of Opportunities 3. The Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities 4. Individual Differences and the Decision to Exploit 5. Psychological Factors and the Decision to Exploit 6. Industry Differences in Entrepreneurial Activity 7. The Environmental Context of Entrepreneurship 8. Resource Acquisition 9. Entrepreneurial Strategy 10. The Organizing Process 11. Conclusions References Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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