Historical Foundations of Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström, Professor, Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lund University, Sweden and Franz T. Lohrke, Harbart College of Business, Auburn University, US

This book historicizes entrepreneurship research, its primary thesis being ‘history matters’. Expert contributors discuss the field’s long history and explore whether it has developed a mature and comprehensive knowledge base. The intellectual roots of several important theories are then examined in depth because, as entrepreneurship research has become more theory driven, and scholars have borrowed theories from many different fields, it becomes increasingly important to understand their origin. Finally, the book demonstrates how economic history research (for example, the historical and institutional context of entrepreneurial behaviour) can contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurship.

‘Landström and Lohrke’s edited collection is an important and timely contribution to the literature on entrepreneurship research. Prior history-orientated titles mainly provide a “nice-to-know” orientation into the developments and landmarks in the history of scholarly conceptualization of entrepreneurial phenomena. This volume, however, also provides very useful accounts of relatively more recent disciplinary and contextual origins and developments of some of the core theoretical and methodological tools that empirical entrepreneurship researchers use today. The book is essential reading for research students and other new entrants to the world of entrepreneurship research.’
– Per Davidsson, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

‘A major contribution to historical research in entrepreneurship. History is a vital link to our understanding of this critical activity, a link that is no longer missing. It is arguable that history provides us the richest body of information that will enable us to understand what entrepreneurs can contribute to social welfare and what is lost from misdirection of their efforts. This book provides an abundance of such important insights.’
– William J. Baumol, New York University and Princeton University, US

‘As a subject of intellectual endeavour, the field of entrepreneurship is booming. This new book presents a significant contribution to our understanding of entrepreneurship by demonstrating the relevance of historical perspectives. Hans Landström and Franz Lohrke have drawn together an influential group of authors who provide an impressive and highly readable series of chapters spanning the historical roots of entrepreneurship research. This is a must read for serious students of entrepreneurship. The contributions should help us avoid reinventing the wheel as well as stimulate future breakthroughs in our theoretical and empirical understanding of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship.’
– Robert Blackburn, International Small Business Journal

‘I am delighted to see what a fine job Hans Landström and Franz Lohrke have done in giving us an historical perspective on the development of empirical research into entrepreneurship. They have recruited a stellar cast of authors and organized their contributions such that it is easy to grasp the intellectual roots of our profession. I believe that graduate students, junior scholars, and even seasoned veterans will benefit from understanding where our “big ideas” come from, so that they may set their own work in historical context. I highly recommend this volume.’
– Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US

2012 448 pp Paperback 978 0 85793 132 0 £49.00 £39.20 $77.00 $61.60
2010 448 pp Hardback 978 1 84720 919 1 £148.00 £133.20 $220.00 $198.00

Elgaronline 978 1 84980 694 7

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

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