The Value of Responsible Entrepreneurship Education

The Value of Responsible Entrepreneurship Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8289-2.ch001


In the chapter, the authors present an extensive literature review related to what entrepreneurship is and why it is important. They also present a brief overview of the main theories about entrepreneurship. Then, they show the importance of entrepreneurial education and how it is connected with the principles of responsible management. In doing so, this chapter is a general introduction to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education with the aim to introduce the reader to the theories used in the book.
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The Entrepreneurial Structure In Literature

In the present chapter we will present the main theories about entrepreneurship to guide the reader through the process of developing a good entrepreneurial education program.

In fact, the entrepreneurial structure is “the summit of decision-making power and the matrix of dominant ideas that not only sets goals, defines values, interprets and governs the complex business reality, but composes, breaks down and recomposes its unity” (Ciappei, 2015, p. 37).

The entrepreneur is the one who, in addition to organizing the production assets, models them according to their own intuitions and decisions.

If we look at the classic Schumpeterian vision, the entrepreneur is the central figure in the system development process and the main innovator that introduces “new combinations” throughout the value chain. Innovation creates market power and profit but for this to happen it is necessary to generate a discontinuity in the system: innovation generates imbalance and profit unbalance. This is the “creative destruction” of Schumpeter.

In this type of concept, we can find the entrepreneur at any level within the company and it is necessary to make a clear distinction between the contributors to capital and the entrepreneurial figure. In this new outlined position, it is understood that the figure of the entrepreneur does not involve the assumption of any risk that is transferred entirely within the property.

Schumpeter outlines a romantic figure of “heroic” entrepreneur seen as a pure innovator. The company is continually modified according to the destructive forces introduced by the entrepreneur adding to each radical change a piece of the “chain” of value and it is precisely in this - although heroic - theory that we find the prodromes of what will then be the great strand of the theory of value generation.

In opposition to the Schumpeterian vision we find Knight (1921) who lays the basis of his theory on the condition of uncertainty. This is considered as existence of information available to the operators and it is inevitably incomplete, which is why opportunities to achieve profits can derive from it. In this view, the entrepreneur must be a skillful ruler of the condition of uncertainty by conducting their business through these imponderable conditions. We will therefore have a person taking decisions in an uncertain and uninsurable context but that could generate “entrepreneurial profit”. In this case, as for Schumpeter, the entrepreneurial function does not necessarily require ownership of the means of production.

The entrepreneurial figure can also be read in terms of leadership, s/he must generate meaning for the people who work alongside him, motivating them to achieve goals and values. In opposition to the manager and in particular to the figure outlined by the scientific management, the entrepreneurial leader expresses new ideas and values, recombines and consolidates them as the glue of all the assets in the company: “True leaders inspire people to do great things. And when the work is done, their people proudly say, <<See, we did it ourselves.>>” (Kohn and LaFargue, 1998, p. 77).

As for the Florentine school we can mention the vision of Fazzi that reinterprets the entrepreneurial function in a corporate vision. The academic vision recognizes in the entrepreneur:

Own tasks to be carried out on the company, which do not derive from being the owner or not, [...] since private capital and economic risk no longer characterize the function of the entrepreneur in the great modern enterprise. (Fazzi, 1982, p. 83)

Similarly, Cafferata stresses the distinction between the enterprise the entrepreneur, as such: “The enterprise is formed by an organized complexity of resources and by the activity effectively done through those resources. The entrepreneur is the physical person or juridical person that performs such complex system and complex activity, assuming economic and financial risks; being in last analysis the beneficiary of the positive or negative effects of the entrepreneurial activity in execution.” (Cafferata, 2018, p, 83)

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