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Capitalist Entrepreneurship: Making Profit through the Unmaking of Economic Orders
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2009 (English)In: Capitalism and Society, ISSN 1932-0213, Vol. 4, no 2 Art. 3, 1-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This is a theoretical paper in which we attempt to present an economic and sociological theory of entrepreneurship. We start from Schumpeter's idea in Theory of Economic Development that the economy can be conceptualized as a combination and innovations as new combinations. Schumpeter also spoke of resistance to entrepreneurship. By linking the ideas of combination and resistance, we are in a position to suggest a theory of capitalist entrepreneurship. An existing combination, we propose, can be understood as a social formation with its own cohesion and resistance – what may be called an economic order. Actors know how to act; and profit is low and even in these orders. Entrepreneurship, in contrast, breaks them up by creating new ways of doing things and, in doing so, produces entrepreneurial profit. This profit inspires imitators until a new order for how to do things has been established; and profit has become low and even once more. Entrepreneurship is defined as the act of creating a new combination that ends one economic order and clears the way for a new one. The implications of this approach for a number of topics related to entrepreneurship are also discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 4, no 2 Art. 3, 1-26 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34321DOI: 10.2202/1932-0213.1057OAI: diva2:284532
Available from: 2010-01-07 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2010-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Swedberg, Richard
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