Small Business Economics

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 39–49 | Cite as

In search of the meaning of entrepreneurship

  • Robert F. Hébert
  • Albert N. Link


This paper is an attempt to build a bridge between the popular and the academic usage of the terms entrepreneur and entrepreneurship, and to identify the raw materials needed to construct an interpretive framework capable of illuminating the nature of entrepreneurship and its role in economic theory. We review briefly the contributions made to this topic by Cantillon, Schumpeter, Schultz and Kirzner. We advance a ‘synthetic’ definition of the entrepreneur as someone who specializes in taking responsibility for and making judgemental decisions that affect the location, the form, and the use of goods, resources, or institutions. We then conclude with some observations on the basic choice confronting economics regarding the place of entrepreneurship in economic analysis.


Economic Theory Economic Analysis Industrial Organization Interpretive Framework Basic Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Hébert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Albert N. Link
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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