Entrepreneurship: An Evolutionary Perspective

J. S. Metcalfe

in The Oxford Handbook of Entrepreneurship

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780199546992
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577383 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Entrepreneurship: An Evolutionary Perspective

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This article suggests that an evolutionary market perspective provides a powerful framework for bringing the entrepreneur back into economic theory precisely because enterprise is the activity of introducing new activities, production methods and products into an economy. Economic variation is the prerequisite for economic transformation and development and this is why enterprise and the entrepreneur are central components of the evolutionary approach to economics. Indeed, the fundamental historical fact about capitalism is its internal capacity for transformation, and the corresponding transience of the activities and ways of life that it supports within a more slowly evolving set of institutions. Economists have for a long time recognized a capitalist, market economy as a self-organizing system sustaining a spontaneous order; far less well recognized is its capacity for spontaneous transformation, and it is this theme that forms the core of this article.

Keywords: economic theory; market economy; capitalism; economic transformation; market perspective; economic institutions

Article.  14625 words. 

Subjects: Entrepreneurship ; Knowledge Management

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