Schumpeter was among the first researchers on the field of study


Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A conceptualization by James W Carland, Frank Hoy, William R Boulton, Jo Ann C. Carland (1984)

This articles is described by Gartner (1988) and I quote, "…long tradition of 'if-we-can-just-find-out-who-the-entrepreneur-is-then-we'll-know-what-entrepreneurship-is.'" James W Carland, Frank Hoy, William R Boulton, Jo Ann C. Carland (1984) contemplated the importance of assumptions of Schumpeter (1934) and base their article on the article, Schumpeter was among the first researchers on the field of study where entrepreneur was differentiated from business owners and the managers. Carland et al. (1984) propose two conceptualizations based on question "if entrepreneurs exist as entities distinct from small and large organizations and if entrepreneurial activity is a fundamental contributor to economic development, on what bases may entrepreneurs be separated from nonentrepreneurial managers in order for the phenomenon of entrepreneurship to be studies and understood?" James W Carland, Frank Hoy, William R Boulton, Jo Ann C. Carland (1984, p. 355)

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Under this concept the entrepreneurship implies ownership and management of small business, even though there is not any uniform definition of small business, they seem to be hold a handsome share in US GDP and US GNP statistics, as list of US Government Printing Office in 1982. According to US Small Business Administration, "a small business concern is independently owned and operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation"(US Small Business Administration, 1978, p. 121.1). Small firms are considered a separate sector because of certain common management limitation. Although significant segment, small business entrepreneurial share is non-affluent.

Literature review part of the article analyzed different definitions of entrepreneur and characteristics of entrepreneurs. Several studies have argued over risk bearing trait of entrepreneurs. Some rest their case on the arguments that risk bearing is inherent in ownership while the entrepreneur is not always an owner. Another important aspect about study of entrepreneurs is factor of innovation without any unanimous agreement about it. Other less explored or rather not so significant characteristics are demographic characteristics. Several authors are forcing their understanding of entrepreneurial phenomenon, writers considers Vesper's (1980) view that several types of entrepreneur exist. Another problem, which was identified by Authors, is nature and approach to analysis in these articles. The articles based on empirical study are based on diverse samples and sometimes based on complicated assumptions while normative approach is subjective and relatively more biased than former.

Writers of the article summarized the research focus on the stages of organizational development. They give examples of difference of opinion among researchers over the growth-orientation, which is for some writer a entrepreneurial characteristics while Vesper (1980) ignores this idea by saying that that business owners do not want their businesses to grow to uncontrollable size. For example Glueck (1980) analysis differences between strategic management of family business (small business) and entrepreneurial ventures and concludes that family business tends to provide opportunities to family investments and family carrier while entrepreneurial strategic management is focused on growth and sustaining of firms competence thorough best available personnel. Hence entrepreneurial ventures can be identified by certain characteristics given by Schumpeter (1934) and backed by Vesper (1980), characteristics includes introduction of good and new methods of productions, opening of new markets and new source of supply, and industrial organization. While authors ignore the characteristics about opening of new source of supply due to ambiguity. Furthermore this approach considers only new entrants are considered to be entrepreneur while others are just small business owners, which does not make sense.

In the end authors are unable to draw any sound conclusion, as their paper is an amalgamation of older studies, more like a literature review itself. Two concept proposed by authors are a clever manipulation of ideas described previously but in particular from 1930s. Concepts are overlapping where entrepreneurial ventures key focus is on growth. They are fearful to draw any solid conclusion due to ambiguity of concept growth as the mentioned in last section also. Their suggestions for future studies are in fact their thesis, which they were not able to prove. But even readers agree to these differentiations between small business venture (small business owner) and entrepreneurial ventures (entrepreneur), their contributions to these concepts are negligible.

"Who Is an Entrepreneur?" Is the Wrong Question! By William B. Gartner

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Aurther Cole's (1969) words are merely common sense and common sense does not necessarily change over any length of period within certain geographical boundary. Here we may define geographical boundary as research community on field of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship. He is also right when he considers it a dead-end. Gartner (1988) tries to elaborate further by giving a psychological point of view over entrepreneur presented by Brockhuas and Horwitz (1985). Thiers article concludes no generic definition or inadequate "psychological instruments" to discover at the time. His indirect or unintentional confrontation against arguments given by authors of Differentiating Entrepreneurs from Small Business Owners: A conceptualization. He considers that studies differencing small business owners and entrepreneurs are unable to discover any significant characteristic.

Author of the article believes that question that who is an entrepreneur based on traits and personality characteristics will be inconsequential, He furthers his article by showing different studies based on traits and personality characteristics and show that approach alone is ineffective to answer the fundamental question. Trait approach considers certain fixed characteristics in entrepreneur i.e. once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. Author shows different major studies in the field of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship with an indirect critique against Carland et. al. (1984) and alike, who just organize different past studies on the topic in order to discover of a ready-made definition of field. Purpose of this drill was to draw conclusion as per author's hypothesis, Main points, as described by author, are very different and vague definitions of entrepreneur or many dared not to define the term at all and samples are not based on common assumption which makes it internally and externally heterogeneous. Due to diversity in characteristics, results tend to be tediously generic, and mostly contradictory, an "Everyman" personality. Gartner (1988) urges that researcher should focus on what the entrepreneur does and not who the entrepreneur is. This approach is known as behavioral approach, where focus is on how does an organization come into existence viewing entrepreneur within the process of new venture creation. There has been lot of criticism on personality tests approach or trait approach by many researchers over last quarter of century, however trait approach is persistent due to the fact that some people achieve more than others in similar circumstances, which can be thought as some inner qualities. Authors concludes even though that a certain personality has certain traits with certain behavior does not itself define something due to their vagueness.

Next section of articles is direct criticism on the Carland et. al. (1984), started his argument by quoting so-called distinct definitions of Entrepreneur and small business owner. Furthermore he argues that these definitions are hindered by trait views, hence diminishing or fading away this distinction e.g. difference between personal goals and growth. He argues that focusing on intentionality of individual is another variation of trait theme. In offence to Schumpeter's (1934) strategic postures, Gartner says that though appealing but taking little side to behavioral viewpoint. He asks questions like if only new entrants in the market are entrepreneur? Who to define different products and if new method of production is innovation? Author argues that Carland et. al. (1984) definition arise new questions and increase ambiguity. He argues about the samples are by no means homogeneous and create ambiguity in results. He concludes that Carland et. al (1984) attempt of definition does make are clearer about subject rather arise more questions and it is wrong to ask question, who is entrepreneur?

Gartner (1988) argues that a reorientation in the field of entrepreneurship is utterly important and focuses on entrepreneurship as creation of new organization and process by which new organizations are created and unwilling to call this "focus" a definition rather it will clarify the field of entrepreneurship. He further argues that entrepreneurship ends when the creation stage of the organization ends.

According to Gartner (1988) the reorientation towards a behavioral approach begins be thinking entrepreneurs' role in creation of new organization. Furthermore wants to urge researchers should follow research done on the field of managerial behavior e.g. Mintzbers (1973). He inclines to study further questions regarding skills and abilities, experiences, process of team formation, motivations business plans, and political process to gain internal or external assistant etc. He concludes that instead the asking the "wrong question", we should concentrate on developing methodologies and techniques with in research.

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"Who is an Entrepreneur?" Is a Question Worth Asking by James W Carland, Frank Hoy, Jo Ann C. Carland

W Carland, Frank Hoy, Jo Ann C. Carland (1988) starts their response to Gartner (1988) by elaborating the importance of definition of any subject, though admitting that there may not be unanimity between definitions and approaches to subjects. They tell a history of academic and everyday use of word "entrepreneur", various references from authors to dictionaries. There is a criticism on as many definitions of entrepreneurs, diverse sample selection etc. They give an introduction of their previous papers and also introduce Gartner's (1988) taken issues. First that Carland et. al. are wrong to focus on intentionality and last is act of entrepreneurship that deserves the study not the entrepreneur. Further try to reason that understanding and perception of Gartner has some real issues by telling a fable. It seems like that they are more interested in psychological analysis of Gartner than Entrepreneur.

They reason that Gartner has somewhat same observations like one of their colleague in another paper Carland (1982) but different conclusions. According to them Gartner (1988) seems to totally reject trait approach while Carland (1982) urges on necessity of methodological improvements in trait approach. They starts to elaborate the need and significance of research on entrepreneurship, which are mostly generic that to encourage people to become entrepreneur, educational programs, curricula etc. Again they are using words to use the same baseball game to justify their claims and again they are asking more questions than answering.

They reject criticism of Gartner (1988) over distinct definition of small business owner and entrepreneurs and risk of ambiguity by saying that their concepts were based on theory and empirical analysis is required to prove it. They failed to answer the criticism due to two reasons, first that they were probably not properly prepared before writing response and their theory stands on week or more precisely on old researches. Their response that they wanted to raise the consciousness level of researchers was to some extend wrongfully put as their work was based on three or four major and most popular studies on entrepreneurship e.g. Schumpeter (1934) and Vesper (1980).

They argue that creation of new organizations is exclusionary as their concept in Carland et. al. (1984) again wrongfully arguing over language of Gartner that he uses "I believe" which elaborates his opinions and not axioms. They argue that there can never be homogeneous sample in the field of entrepreneurship because thousands of entrepreneurships are created and die in a year. They argue about the Gartner (1988) tries to isolate study of entrepreneurship by limiting it to creation which is unjust and all parts like prior to creation, during the creation and after the startup must be considered and also their interaction.

They give statistics of researchers who did study/survey on trait approach after their call of further research into characteristics of entrepreneur, which according to them show that trait is still a legitimate approach for research in the field. Even though there are problems with samples and statistics inferences but characteristic approach can not be ignored. They ignore the fact of Everyman concept and keep on forcing the example that business creator possess all possible combinations of trait admitting that any two person are not alike.

They conclude in the end that there definitions are not final word and full understand of the phenomenon is not possible but two approaches, focus on organization and focus on persons, are equally important. They do not deny importance of Gartner (1988) in the filed of entrepreneurship.

Literature Review on Other Themes

Davidsson, P. (2004) what is entrepreneurship?

Davidsson asks one of the most interesting, fascinating, important and possibly most frustrating questions of field of the business studies. Starting by giving lot of diverse suggestions on the consistency of term "entrepreneurship" which has been bone of contention among various researchers for last century but in particular from 1930's.

Davidsson (2004) tries to elucidate two underlying social realities addressed by different definition over the past century. First when phenomenon entrepreneurship is used to for social realities like self-employments, family business ownership, management, and developments. Second approach is entrepreneurship as development or renewal of societies which includes corporate venturing, organizational reconstruction etc.

His own definition of entrepreneurship is "competitive behaviors that drive the market process", which includes concepts from various studies over the years e.g. Gartner (1988) where focus is mainly on behavior rather than fixed personality traits. The Market concept is another concepts to bind the context of the definition that makes it easier to empirically and coherently studied, not considering non-market activities such as not-for-profit firms etc. Introduction of novelty to market is included if undertaken by existing organizations. According to him innovation that is futile cannot be considered entrepreneurship but catalyst ventures are considered. Degree of entrepreneurship is a concept that needs further discussion according to Davidsson (2004). Authors has noticed from previous literature that limiting stand on risk, innovation, purposefulness, ownership, and size and context of organization will make concepts too ambiguous hence not considered by author.

The heart of entrepreneurship by Howard H. Stevenson and David E. Gumpert

Authors gives a managers opportunity matrix and that explains that if there is any desired future state characterized by growth or change and self perceived power and ability to realize goals then a manager is entrepreneur otherwise consummate bureaucratic functionary while there are other options like satisfied manager if answer to first question is no and second question's answer is yes, while frustrated potential entrepreneur if vice versa. During process of entrepreneurship the basic questions arises before an entrepreneur and administrator are different. An entrepreneur tends to ask questions about opportunities, and in what way an effective and efficient implementation and utilization of an opportunity can be achieved. Administrator, on the other hand, tends to ask questions about handle and control utilized opportunity.

A paradigm of entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial management by Howard H. Stevenson and J Carlos. Jarillo.

Corporate entrepreneurship is one of emerging concepts for last several years and this article shows a certain conception based on notion opportunity to bridge the diverse research on corporate entrepreneurship. They propose that concept is broader than corporate venturing etc. and perusing opportunity comprises entrepreneurial activity. The process of exploitation of a potential opportunity starts with detection, willingness to pursue and possibilities of success, requires research. They argue that entrepreneurship is not just creation of new organization but it includes the whole process. They differentiate entrepreneurial management from traditional management. Finally they don't want to delimit entrepreneurship to opportunity rather a helpful tool in the whole paradigm.

Theorizing about Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave and Charles W. Hofer

This article spot the problem of lack of theoretical foundation of the field of Entrepreneurship even thought highly impressive empirical research has been undertaken in 80's. Major problem in 90's was to build theories and develop models on sold foundation from the social sciences. Lack of sold foundation is caused by no consensus over definition of entrepreneurship; later characterized entrepreneurial process and suggestions on ideal model of entrepreneurship should be comprised. Their conclusion are not encouraging as they miss the possibility of a model developed to fulfill requirements of an ideal model proposed by them or even model which is in fact useful. The mathematical implementation may be difficult because linear regression analysis may not be efficient in the field and discover more complex mathematical techniques.

The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a field of research by Scott Shane and S. Venkataraman

Scott Shane and S. Venkataraman (2000) analyzed the entrepreneurship as a field of study with difficult questions and proposed framework to study. As concluded by them there requires a sold foundation by admitting flawed arguments, lack of samples data, possibly invalid assumptions which is a starting point for research in order to systematically organize the study of entrepreneurship. They study different definition of entrepreneurship and tried to connect with other established sciences framework to attract researchers from other sciences. They based their paper on entrepreneurial opportunities and their exploitations as proposed by authors from above articles.

In the dialogue Shaker Zahra and Gregory G. Dess (2000) ask, what is entrepreneurial opportunities? This question was based on different real time example, which complicated not only the process of entrepreneurial opportunity but concept itself. Their other question is about Entrepreneurial profit and loss due to lost or wrong or wrongly processed opportunities. They proposed that classic question should be change from "what is an entrepreneurship?" to "what is an entrepreneurial opportunity?" On Zahra and Dess dialogue by identifying a lack of a unifying framework, relationship between strategic management and entrepreneurship, focus on individual or opportunities, values of focusing on outcomes of entrepreneurship and reason of studies.

In response to that first article Robert P. Singh (2000) writes that entrepreneurship can not be studied in one dimension as proposed by authors of original article; the opportunity. He wants to add two more dimension motivation, intention, goal setting and innovation. On Singh, they have issues that entrepreneurial and profit, definition should ne analyzed, and impossibility of empirical study on opportunities and failed opportunities are opportunities.

On Eriksson, issues are three-dimensional framework and processes and resources are important dimensions.

Prior Knowledge and the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities by Scott Shane

Scott Shane (2000) understands the inadequacy of research explaining why entrepreneur discover opportunities. He refers to Hayak (1945) that "discovery of opportunities is function of the distribution of information in society". He discusses different entrepreneurial theories including neoclassical equilibrium theories, which assume all the time all opportunities have been recognized by everyone, and every transaction is coordinated. People with higher level of uncertainty would want to become entrepreneurs. Psychological theories assume attributes of people who determine the willingness and ability of people to become entrepreneur. Austrian theories that not everything opportunity can be recognized and its person's ability and willingness that determine his decision to start Entrepreneurship. He considers Austrian view more important to study than other and base his study on that framework, starting with assumptions about information about opportunity to prior knowledge and willingness of individual, he was able to come up with a nice model and used these case studies to analyze this phenomenon. Results were interesting with certain limitations about education; ability of people might have influenced results. He calls for further empirical research on the same line, opportunities should be empirical studies but aspects of individual ability or characteristics cannot be ignored. His study was very focused but then they seem to empirically prove long ago developed concepts where the fight about entrepreneurship starts.

Does Entrepreneurial Experience Influence Opportunity Identification by Deniz Usbasaran, Paul Westhead, Nike Wright, and Martin Binks.

Deniz Usbasaran, Paul Westhead, Nike Wright, and Martin Binks (2003) question was most focused I have read since my introduction to study of entrepreneurship. They tried to answer that question with empirical/survey study, came with conclusions that discovery of information has no significant influence from habits or experience, but habitual aspects play role in search for opportunities and even source of information. In the end they admit the problem with empirical studies within Entrepreneurship, which is heterogeneous samples based on level of experiences and finish their papers with behavioral dilemmas in connection with experienced entrepreneurs, number of opportunities and preference of private equity practitioners.

The Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer by Amar Bhide

This article elaborates necessary questions that must be asked and answered by any entrepreneur during the process of an entrepreneurship. Starting with asking questions about goals and what kind of enterprise an entrepreneur needs to build, and what risks are involved with enterprise of a choice? Secondly the questions must be answered about well-defined strategy to achieve these goals, and sufficiency and sustainability to achieve profit and growth. Executing the strategy is third main questions, which also includes identifying right resources and strengths of organization. Last question is role of entrepreneur in creation of organization and change of role during life of an organization. These questions are generic in nature but still really crucial in order to successfully implement all roles an entrepreneur plays in an entrepreneurship.

Causation and Effectuation: Toward a Theoretical Shift From Economic Inevitability To Entrepreneurial Contingency by Saras D. Sarasvathy.

Saras D. Sarasvathy (2001) analyzes empirical evidence that does not coherent with traditional paradigm of causation models and proposes effectuation model at macro, industry, firm and individual levels. Author tries to shows difference between causation and effectuation process and find connections between developed theories and effectuation theory. Author analyzes the effects of human aspiration and imagination that are before products and markets.

Final Remarks [1] 

In my personal view, Entrepreneur is a young science as compared to other popular social sciences. This kind of feud is being experience during other social sciences; unable to come up with one or rather couple of definition, lack of sold theoretical foundation or any significant school of thought. When it is related to humans then there is never unanimity whether if we study it by concentrating on Trait aspects or behavioral, or causation or effectuation etc. In my opinion up till now entrepreneurship has failed to recognize itself as a separate field of study, Researchers and authors are using tools and frameworks from various established sciences to reason ideas about entrepreneurship. We know that its not possible to define entrepreneurship to date, then why so much effort to define the science. It seems like every other researcher is in quest of undeniable definition. We did not succeed in economics, how could we do it here. It should be that we put more focus on entrepreneurial problems based to solid school of thoughts and their solutions. Reader noticed that sometimes field of entrepreneurship was just another mode of communication, indirectly arguing about language used by different researchers, a sense of egotism among different researchers. It does not harm them but politically destroy field of entrepreneurship and pushing back interested readers.