Characteristics of the Responsible Entrepreneur

Characteristics of the Responsible Entrepreneur

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8289-2.ch005


In the chapter, the authors provide a detailed explanation of their proposed model. In doing so, they analyze each set of entrepreneurial skills separately. For each skill, they present the relevant literature and the positioning in our theoretical model. The chapter represents the core of the study. Once the theoretical reference paradigms and the underlying literature have been defined, it is possible to start developing the theoretical model to undertake entrepreneurial education. The goal of this model is not to provide a simple list of skills but to develop, starting from a philosophical key and then moving to a psychological direction, a system to understand what should be the skills, attitudes, and meta skills to make sure that entrepreneurial action manifests itself and is successful.
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Functional Skills

When we talk about skills, we can divide them according to a functionalistic criterion, based on their ability to direct or order the action.

Doing implies the ability to interpret and discern the contents of the actions through a purely praxis capacity and to carry them out completely through pragmatics and poietics. The dichotomy between praxis and poietics skills comes from the seminal study of Prof. Cristiano Ciappei (Ciappei, 2003; 2005) who firstly identified the role of these two functional skills on the entrepreneurial acting.

In fact, following the aforementioned studies from Prof. Cristiano Ciappei, the Aristotelian concept of phronesis can be interpreted as wisdom and prudence, we mean that ability to judge through a balance the situations that arise by evaluating the emotions and the information that we get by looking with rational optics trying to avoid cognitive errors and ambiguities that can lead us to a wrong judgment. Wisdom therefore does not judge through preconceived models but takes place at a higher level in which the individual from their own experiences and their own sensitivity evaluates the pros and cons of the situation and then eventually brings the action to completion through pragmatic skills and poietic.

The action cannot be simplistically reduced to essentially organizational and technical aspects as it is the result of more complex mental processes that involve the individual’s cognitive and ethical aspects. This is always strongly characterized by emotions, passions and violence that must be mitigated by praxis capacities, which is able to attenuate and direct the conscious decision going beyond the apparent and providing new elements of existential deepness to the government of action. In this case it is important to note how wisdom it is different from knowledge; this one provides a set of notations and knowledge which, if disconnected from reality and not guided by higher principles, reduce the act to be a mere execution without spirit and without reflection, bringing in this case the action of the individual to a managerial rather than entrepreneurial role. The approach that we judge correct will therefore be based on the balance between these two apparently conflicting poles which, if united and developed correctly, make every action great. It is possible to find this kind of thought in Aristotle who believes that the right medium has an average value placed in a continuum between excess and defect, in a persistent relationship with the circumstance and the suitability of the purpose.

Wisdom is therefore in equilibrium between extremities, an equilibrium that in extraordinary situations can fall in favor of an extremity as in the case where anger is considered necessary inasmuch strong stimulating action. Wisdom lies in the ability of the individual to continually modify all these capacities and to move them along an intensity scale based on contingencies in a way to remain constantly connected with the flow of events.

In the detail of acting, the praxis dimension represents a mental state within the action and in particular, from a teleological point of view, this is considered as a relation of actions with internal relations. These must have coherence between them and present a minimum degree of awareness so that they can spring from the will and not from instinct. In praxis terms, therefore, action is interpreted through intentional content, unlike the poietic approach that starts from action to get back to the thought.

From the poietic point of view, the action is described as tending to a result and explained by the event that tends to the purpose by totally removing the whole above-mentioned praxis process.

On a purely exemplary level we could say that praxis skills are linked to those more intangible capacities such as creativity, connection with the environment and emotional intelligence. On the poietic side, on the other hand, we find the most practical, though not totally executive, qualities, such as problem solving, planning and goal setting.

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