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Differing perspectives of entrepreneurship.

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Differing perspectives of entrepreneurship. Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A Conceptualization. Schumpeter can be identified as one of the first academics to put forward the notion that an entrepreneur was distinguishable from the rest of the community by certain traits. When considering this idea we must be careful to differentiate between small business owner and entrepreneurs as well as small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, although there is an overlap. Different author attempt to identify different traits an entrepreneur may have, Mill (1848) points towards risk bearing propensity as a central trait whereas Schumpeter argues that because risk bearing is inherent in ownership it is not so, Brockhaus adds weight to the argument with his findings that there is no statistical link. Schein's (1979) work attaches significance to creativity as does Martin (1982) who points out that entrepreneurial creativity is different to artistic creativity. The theme of innovation Schumpeter believes to be key, and it is from this he is able to declare that one is only an entrepreneur when carrying out innovation. Vesper (1980) draws from a wide variety of sources and concludes that there are different types of entrepreneur along a continuum and that the key is to identify which traits and their intensity at different points on the continuum. ...read more.


This presents some problems; different studies use different definitions which are often vague and some times do not employ definitions at all. As a consequence of this the samples used differ enormously. Also the ranges of traits are so large that no one person could exhibit them all. In contrast to the trait approach the behavioural approach takes the view that it is more important to study the process of creating new ventures than who the entrepreneur is. However the behavioural approach is hard to maintain as the person and the process are so closely related, as well as the fact researcher do not draw a clear line between the trait and behavioural perspectives. For example Carland et al in Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A Conceptualization (1984) recognises that the entrepreneur is a separate role from an ongoing owner/manager but when it comes to differentiating between them they are hindered by the trait approach. One example of this is where Cartland et al. try to define there roles. It is suggested that that small business owners aim to further personal goals whereas an entrepreneur is aims towards profit and growth. ...read more.


However where Gartner saw this as an indication that trait research was too flawed to be used Cartland saw it as an opportunity to highlight the need for a higher level of uniformity and with more uniformity this may bring about a deeper understanding of the entrepreneur . In response to the idea that because the operator and venture are so tightly bound they can not be separated Cartland suggests that this simply means to understand one you must understand the other, thereby stressing the importance of trait based research. Gartner criticises Cartland for using the idea that an entrepreneur is in some form an innovator by implying that this is to vague and only adds confusions, but surely if this was idea applied universally their would be some sort of uniformity in the result, instead of allowing each study to use its own definition. Psychologists generally agree that a person's personality is formed from a young age, and this personality will be what drives then in the rest of their lives, and although no two personalities will be the same, if there are recurring traits in entrepreneurs surely they require further study. Finally it is important to remember that the subject of entrepreneurship is a highly dynamic and complicated one that has no definitive answer. ...read more.

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