The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 259–279 | Cite as

The place of Austrian economics in contemporary entrepreneurship research

  • Peter G. Klein
  • Per L. Bylund


We review the place of Austrian economics in contemporary entrepreneurship and management research, focusing on the contributions of Israel Kirzner. We show that Kirzner’s central concept of entrepreneurial discovery has been vastly influential in theoretical and applied work on entrepreneurship, even though Kirzner’s larger research program has not been well understood. We also describe and assess a number of methodological, ontological, and cognitive critiques of the opportunity-discovery approach and review the most important alternatives, including the judgment-based view associated with Knight (1921) and more recent contributors. We conclude that the entrepreneurship and management literatures provide a useful example of how Austrian economics—Kirznerian economics in particular—can play an important role in shaping mainstream discussions, debates, and research programs in the social sciences.


Israel M. Kirzner Entrepreneurship Opportunity Discovery Judgment Management 

JEL Classifications

M1 L26 B13 



We thank Peter Boettke, James Chappelow, Chris Coyne, Todd Chiles, Nicolai Foss, Joseph Salerno, Mark Thornton, and Jingjing Wang for helpful comments, corrections, and conversations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Applied Social SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Norwegian School of EconomicsBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department of Management & EntrepreneurshipHankamer School of BusinessWacoUSA
  4. 4.Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free EnterpriseBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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