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Finding the Entrepreneur in Entrepreneurship

by William B Gartner, Kelly G Shaver, Elizabeth Gatewood, Jerome A Katz
Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice ()

Abstract

This article focuses on the role of entrepreneurs in entrepreneurial activity such as in venture decisions. The entrepreneur in entrepreneurship is more likely to be plural, rather than singular. The locus of entrepreneurial activity often resides not in one person, but in many. Limitation of entrepreneurs to those individuals who might have some direct strategic influence on the development of a venture should likely consider including: individuals that share equity ownership in the venture; individuals that share debt ownership in the venture; individuals that share decision-making roles in the venture; individuals that serve in leadership and subordinate roles in the venture; spouses, family, close friends, advisors; and critical suppliers and buyers. Entrepreneurship occurs over time. While such a statement may seem obvious, researchers still tend to ignore its implications. First, there is an implication of process/ change/evolution in entrepreneurial situations. For example, if aspects of an entrepreneurial phenomenon are likely to change over time (e.g., an entrepreneur's thinking, the nature of the opportunity, characteristics of the competitive environment), both theory identifying and describing these changes, and the methods use to study them must reflect this process. Another implication of considering time in entrepreneurship research is the need to measure, in appropriate ways, the causal sequence of relationships among variables.

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