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Theories of Entrepreneurship

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Everything you need to know about the theories of entrepreneurship. It is a universal fact that entrepreneurship is an important factor in economic development.

An Entrepreneur is the risk bearer and works under uncertainty. But no attempts were made by economists for formulating systematic theory of entrepreneurship.

According to William J. Baumol, the economic theory has failed to provide a satisfactory analysis of either the role of the entrepreneurship or its supply.

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However, different theoretical assumptions of entrepreneurship focus on three major aspects of entrepreneurship. These three aspects are nature of opportunities, the nature of entrepreneurs, and the nature of decision making framework within which an entrepreneur functions. These three aspects give rise to two logical, consistent theories of entrepreneurship, namely, discovery theory and creative theory.

Some of the theories of entrepreneurship are:-

1. Innovation Theory 2. Need for Achievement Theory 3. Status Withdrawal Theory 4. Theory of Social Change 5. Theory of Social Behaviour 6. Theory of Leadership

7. Theory of Model Personality 8. Theory of Systematic Innovation 9. Creation Theory 10. Psychological Theory 11. Sociological Theory 12. Economic Theory 13. Cultural Theory.


Theories of Entrepreneurship: Cultural Theory, Economic Theory, Sociological Theory and Psychological Theory

Theories of Entrepreneurship – 8 Major Theories with Critical Evaluation

It is a universal fact that entrepreneurship is an important factor in economic development. An Entrepreneur is the risk bearer and works under uncertainty. But no attempts were made by economists for formulating systematic theory of entrepreneurship. According to William J. Baumol, the economic theory has failed to provide a satisfactory analysis of either the role of the entrepreneurship or its supply.

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The traditional notion of an entrepreneur is that he brings together the factor inputs and organises productive activity. The traditional models treat the entrepreneurial function like a managerial function.

Similarly, in modern growth theory also, any contribution of entrepreneurship is typically contained in a residual factor. This residual, variously termed as ‘technical change’ or ‘coefficient of ignorance’. It includes among other things, technology, education, institutional organisation and entrepreneurship.

Different thinkers have evolved different theories of entrepreneurship.

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Salient features of these theories are as follows:

Theory # 1. Innovation Theory:

This theory was propounded by J.A. Schumpeter. According to Schumpeter, entrepreneur is basically an innovator and innovator is one who introduces new combinations.

In practice, new combination theory covers five cases which are given below:

(i) The introduction of a new good which consumers, are not yet familiar—or of a new quality of a good.

(ii) The introduction of a new method of production, that one not yet tested by experience in the branch of manufacture concerned, which need by no means be founded upon a discovery scientifically new and can also exist in a new way of handling a commodity commercially.

(iii) The opening of a new market i.e. a market into which the particular branch of manufacture of the country in question has not previously entered, whether or not this market has existed before.

(iv) The conquest of a new source of supply of raw materials or half manufactured goods, irrespective of whether this source already exists or whether it has first to be created.

(v) The carrying out of the new organisation of any industry like the creation of a monopoly position (for example, through trustification) or the breaking up of a monopoly position.

Critical Evaluation:

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In Schumpeterian theory, the main theme is the innovation. He makes a distinction between an innovator and an inventor. According to him, an inventor discovers new methods and new materials. But, an innovator is one who applies inventions and discoveries in order to make now combinations. With the help of these new combinations, he produces newer and better goods which yield satisfaction as well as profits.

In economic development process, entrepreneurs have been assigned a crucial role so that tempo of growth is maintained effectively. Development requires basic changes and entrepreneurs carry out the required changes. Thus, entrepreneurial development brings economic development.

Schumpeter’s concept of entrepreneurship is quite broad based. Entrepreneurship includes not only the independent business men but also executives and managers who actually undertake innovative functions.

However, Schumpeter’s theory suffers from following limitations:

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(i) It excludes individuals who merely operate an established business without performing innovative functions.

(ii) Innovating entrepreneur represents the most vigorous type of enterprise. However, this type of entrepreneur is rarely available in developing countries like India.

(iii) It laid too much emphasis on innovative functions. But it ignores the risk taking and organising aspects of entrepreneurship.

(iv) It assumes an entrepreneur as a large scale business man. He is a person who creates something new. But in practice, an entrepreneur cannot have large scale operations from the very beginning,

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(v) It fails to provide a suitable answer to question like— why some countries had more entrepreneurial talent than others?

According to Schumpeter, entrepreneurs are not a class in themselves like capitalists and workers. An individual is an entrepreneur only when he actually carries out new combinations and ceases to be an entrepreneur the moment he settles down to running the established business.

According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur exists only if the factors of production are combined for the first time. Maintenance of a combination is not an entrepreneurial activity. In this way, combination theory differs from the theory of rent formulated by Ricardo. Ricardo included the term “entrepreneurial ability” as an independent factor of production and it is concerned with profit. Thus, this theory fails to provide suitable solutions to the problems.

Theory # 2. Need for Achievement Theory:

This theory was developed by David. C. McClelland. McClelland concerned himself with economic growth and the factors that influence it. In this context, he tries to find the internal factors i.e. “human values and motives that lead man to exploit opportunities, to take advantage of favourable trade conditions.” That is why he gives importance to the innovative characteristics of entrepreneurial role. The entrepreneur is concerned with need for achievement (n-achievement).

The n-achievement is called as “a desire to do well, not so much for the sake of social recognition or prestige, but for the sake of an inner feeling of personal accomplishment.”

It is this motive of n-achievement that guides the actions of entrepreneur. People with high n-achievement behave in an entrepreneurial way. So it is better to develop n-achievement among individuals to ensure high scale of economic development. In practice, n-achievement motive is inculcated through child rearing practices, which stress standards of excellence, material warmth, self-reliance, training and low father dominance.

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McClelland identified two characteristics of entrepreneurship. First doing things in a new and better way. Secondly, decision making under uncertainty.

This motive is called as the tendency to strive for success in situations involving an evaluation of one’s performance in relation to some standard of excellence. People having high need for achievement are more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs.

According to McClelland, individuals with high need achievement will not be motivated by monetary incentives but that monetary rewards will constitute a symbol of achievement for them. Similarly, they are also not interested much for social recognition or prestige but their ultimate goal is personal accomplishment. That is why McClelland suggests that in order to raise the level of achievement motivation, parents should set high standards for their children.

Critical Evaluation:

Research studies on the psychological roots of entrepreneurship reveal that high achievement orientation ensures the success of entrepreneurs. But the empirical tools of concept used by McClelland are found to be highly suspect and one wonders how many of the individuals who are judged to have high n-achievement could succeed in utilising it in practice in the present day developing countries unless strengthened by other reinforcing circumstances.

At the same time, empirical investigations also need the following:

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(i) It is necessary to create a climate (especially in educational institutions at various levels) to enable the children to grow to become individuals with high n-achievement.

(ii) It is possible to improve the performance of existing entrepreneurs through imparting proper training and education.

Theory # 3. Status Withdrawal Theory:

E. Hagen attempted to formulate a theory of social change. The theory of social change explains that when members of some social groups feel that their values and status are not respected by the society, they turn to innovation to get the respect of the society. According to Hagen, entrepreneurship is a function of status withdrawal. This theory provides that a class which lost its previous prestige or a minority group tends to show aggressive entrepreneurial drive.

Hagen postulates four types of events which can produce status withdrawal:

(i) Displacement of a traditional elite group from its previous status by another traditional group by physical force.

(ii) Denigration of values, symbols through some change in the attitude of superior group.

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(iii) Inconsistency of static symbol with a changing distribution of economic power and.

(iv) Non-acceptance of expected status on migration to a new society.

Hagen further opined that creative innovation or change is the basic feature of economic growth. He describes an entrepreneur as a creative problem shooter interested in things in the practical and technological realm. Such type of individual feels a sense of increased pleasure when facing a problem and tolerates disorder without discomfort.

In traditional societies, positions of authority are granted on the basis of status, rather than individual ability. That is why, Hagen visualised an innovative personality.

There are four responses which assess the personality-

(i) Retreatist – One who combines to work in the society but remains indifferent to his work and position.

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(ii) Ritualist – One who adopts a kind of defensive behaviour and acts in the ways accepted and approved in his society but with no hopes of improving his position.

(iii) Reformist- One who foments a rebellion and attempts to establish a new society?

(iv) Innovator- A creative individual who is likely to be an entrepreneur.

Innovation requires creativity and such creative individuals cause economic growth. In practice creative personalities emerge when the members of some social groups experience the withdrawal of status respect. Whenever there is any withdrawal of status respect, it would give rise to innovation—a creative individual who is likely to be an entrepreneur.

Critical Evaluation:

The theory acts to distinguish between entrepreneurship and intra-preneurship. There are different factors within the organisation which motivate the executives and professionals to do some innovative behaviour leading to new products and services. Actually, they are not governed by status withdrawal.

The theory only suggests that the people, who had enjoyed social standing at some stage in their histories fall into a retreatist phase and with an urge to regain that lost status emerge as entrepreneurial personality. The theory also presupposes a long term perspective for entrepreneurial growth about three to five generations for the emergence of entrepreneurship.

But actually it does not happen. In India, first generation entrepreneurs are quite successful in their entrepreneurial behaviour. J.P. Gour of Jai Prakash Industries and Sunil Mittal of Bharti group etc. can be cited in this context.

Theory # 4. Theory of Social Change:

It was Max Weber who first of all took the stand that entrepreneurial growth was dependent upon ethical value system of the society concerned. The central figure of the Weber’s theory of social change consists in his treatment of the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Moreover, this theory provides an analysis of religion and its impact on entrepreneurial culture.

Max Weber opined that the spirit of rapid industrial growth depends upon a rationalised technology, acquisition of money and its rational use for productivity and multiplication of money. These elements of industrial growth depend upon a specific value orientation of individuals i.e. the tendency of acquisition and rational attitude towards action which are generated by ethical values.

Weber analysed his theoretical formulation by the relationship that he found between protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. He found his thesis true about other communities also, e.g. Hindu, Jain and Juda. He held that Protestants progressed fast in bringing capitalism because their ethical value system provided them with rational economic attitude, while the Jews and Jains failed to develop industrial capitalism because of their value of ‘Pariha’ (the restriction on having any contact with other communities).

According to this theory, driving entrepreneurial energies are generated by the adoption of exogenously supplied religious beliefs. It is these beliefs which produce intensive exertion in occupational persecutes, the systematic ordering of means to ends and the accumulation of assets.

For people who believe in this belief (Protestant ethic] hard-work in their walk of life is not only to enable them to have their worldly desires met but also to have their spiritual needs satisfied. Thus, in the Weberian system, the motivating force for entrepreneurial activity is provided by Calvinist ethic irrespective of the cultural background, personality type of the individual and the social environment to which he lives.

Critical Evaluation:

The theory of social change propounded by Max Weber is based on the invalid assumptions. So expected results are not valid in all cases.

These assumptions are as follows:

(i) There is a single system of Hindu value.

(ii) The Indian community internalised those values and translated them in to day to day behaviour and

(iii) These values remained immune to and insulated against external pressures and change. The studies further show that Hinduism is not averse to the spirit of capitalism and to adventurous spirit. The Hinduism has contributed a lot in entrepreneurship development in India which is based on capitalism.

Theory # 5. Theory of Social Behaviour:

Kunkel presents a behavioural model of entrepreneurship. Supply of entrepreneurs is a function of social, political and economic structure. Behavioural model concerned with the overtly expressed activities of individuals and their relations to the previous and present surroundings, social structures and physical conditions.

According to Kunkel, Individuals perform various activities of which some are accepted by the society while others are not. The accepted are rewarded. The rewards act as reinforcing stimulus increasing the probability of repeating that behaviour pattern. This pattern of social behaviour is entrepreneurial behaviour. The supply of entrepreneurship depends upon four structures found in a society.

That are as follows:

(i) Limitation Structure – The society limits specific activities and this limitation structure affects all the members (including entrepreneurs) of a society.

(ii) Demand Structure- Material rewards are necessary to lay the foundation for future social gains. Moreover, behaviour of people can be made entrepreneurial by manipulating certain selected components of the demand structure.

(iii) Opportunity Structure – It consists of the availability of capital, management and technological skills, information concerning production methods, labour and markets.

(iv) Labour Structure – It is concerned with the supply of competent and willing labour. The supply of labour is governed by several factors such as available alternative means of livelihood, traditionalism and expectations of life.

Critical Evaluation:

The theory assumes the ideal structures for the supply of entrepreneurs. But, generally, there is discrepancy between objectives, structures and the actual incidence of entrepreneurs. It is due to the fact that there are inadequate or incorrect perceptions attached with these perceptions. In practice, entrepreneurship is also governed by the specific combinations of circumstances which are generally not available in the environment.

Theory # 6. Theory of Leadership:

According to Hoselitz, entrepreneurship is a function of managerial skills and leadership. Business also requires finance but that is of secondary importance. He further explains that a person who is to become an industrial entrepreneur must have more than the drive to earn profits and amass wealth.

In this process, he has to show his ability to lead and manage. In business, there are generally three types of leadership—merchant money lenders, managers and entrepreneurs. In practice, money lenders are market oriented and managers are authority oriented. But entrepreneurs have in addition to these a production orientation.

The merchant money lenders deal in goods/services which is generally acceptable to everyone. However, an entrepreneur creates his own commodity and its acceptability is uncertain. Therefore, the entrepreneur assumes more risk as compared to a trader or a money lender.

In this context, it is important to note that making profit is not enough to succeed in entrepreneurship. Hoselitz opined that entrepreneurship can develop in a society where its culture permits a variety of choices and where social processes are not rigid. The social conditions should ensure the development of enterprise-oriented personalities.

Hoselitz emphasised the role of culturally marginal groups like Jews and Greeks in Medieval Europe and the Lebanese in West Africa, the Chinese in South Asia, the Indians in West Africa in promoting economic development.

Making use of the work of Stonequist and Park, Hoselitz formulated the hypothesis that marginal men, because of their ambiguous position from a cultural or social stand point, are peculiarly suited to make creative adjustments in situations of change and in the course of this adjustment process too, they are able to develop genuine innovations in social behaviour.

Critical Evaluation:

It is quite true that marginal men or groups enjoying an ambiguous culture and social position having no bondage of tradition to inhibit them from entrepreneurship development. But there are certain economic and political factors also which encourage the people to initiate entrepreneurial behaviour.

For example, Government of India and State Governments are trying to encourage first generation entrepreneurs by offering them various types of incentives and subsidies. Potential entrepreneurs are also opting for enterprise development without cringe for social or cultural restrictions.

Theory # 7. Theory of Model Personality:

The theory of Cocharn is a sociological theory of entrepreneurial supply. Cocharn emphasises cultural values, role expectations and social sanctions as the key elements that determine the supply of entrepreneurs. According to him, an entrepreneur is neither a super normal individual nor a deviant person but represents a society’s model personality.

His performance is influenced by three factors:

(i) His own attitudes towards his occupation.

(ii) The role expectations held by sanctioning groups and

(iii) The operational requirements of the job. In this context, society’s values are the most important determinant of the attitudes and role expectations.

Critical Evaluation:

The theory deals with only social factors. Profit is the most important factor for encouraging entrepreneur to assume risky behaviour. Even need for achievement starts from profit making process. It is implied in need for achievement process. Besides, entrepreneur is also expected to assume managerial functions. But theory fails to incorporate all these requirements.

Theory # 8. Theory of Systematic Innovation:

Prof. Drucker has developed the theory of systematic innovation. According to him “Systematic innovation consists in the purposeful and organised search for changes and in the systematic analysis of the opportunities such changes might offer for economic or social innovation.” Specifically, systematic innovation means seven sources for innovative opportunity.

The first four sources lie within the enterprise, whether business or public service institution, or within an industry or service sector. They are therefore visible primarily to people within that industry or service sector. They are basically symptoms. But they are highly reliable indicators of changes that have already happened or can be made to happen with little effort.

These four source areas are:

(i) The unexpected—the unexpected success, the unexpected failure, the unexpected outside event;

(ii) The incongruity—between reality as it actually is and reality as it is assumed to be or as it ought to be;

(iii) Innovation based on process need;

(iv) Changes in industry structure or market structure that catch every one unawares.

The second set of sources for innovative opportunity, a set of three involves changes outside the enterprise of industry-

(i) Demographics (Population changes);

(ii) Changes in perception, mood and meaning;

(iii) New knowledge, both scientific and non-scientific.

Prof. Drucker, further remarked that the lines between these seven sources areas of innovative opportunities are blurred, and there is considerable overlap between them. They can be likened to seven windows each on a different side of the same building. Each window shows some features that can also be seen from the window on either side of it. But the view from the center of each is distinct and different.

Critical Evaluation:

The theory of systematic innovation is quite comprehensive one. The entrepreneur is required to identify different sources of change. Thereafter, he is expected to coordinate these changes with the opportunities available in the environment. But the most important problem attached with this theory is the question of reliability and predictability of seven sources.

For example, new scientific knowledge is not the most reliable or most predictable source of successful innovations. However theory tries to provide a comprehensive framework to the entrepreneurship.

Thus, on the basis of above theories, we can say that entrepreneurship is a multidisciplinary area. Actually, entrepreneurship is governed by human factor living in an ever-changing society pursuing simultaneously economic, social and psychological objectives. So unless a theory of entrepreneurship is woven into sociological, cultural, psychological, political and managerial fibre, it cannot give a sense of economic web.


Theories of Entrepreneurship – 2 Major Theories: Discovery Theory and Creation Theory (With Assumptions)

In spite of several attempts by various scholars, there is no generally accepted theory of entrepreneurship. There are different theories of entrepreneurship, based on the assumptions of various management experts. In the words of Gartner, “We in the field of entrepreneurship are unaware of the assumptions that we make, in our theoretical perspectives.”

However, different theoretical assumptions of entrepreneurship focus on three major aspects of entrepreneurship. These three aspects are nature of opportunities, the nature of entrepreneurs, and the nature of decision making framework within which an entrepreneur functions. These three aspects give rise to two logical, consistent theories of entrepreneurship, namely, discovery theory and creative theory.

The two theories of entrepreneurship are as follows:

1. Discovery Theory:

It includes Individual/Opportunity (I/O) nexus view, which lays emphasis on the identification, existence, and exploitation of opportunities and their influence of individuals. The individuals and the opportunities have influence on each other. For example, an opportunity comes into existence only when an individual identifies it, simultaneously an individual takes up the entrepreneurial activity because of the existing opportunity.

This theory approaches three assumptions in entrepreneurship, which are as follows:

a. Opportunities have an objective component and their existence does not depend on whether the individual identifies these opportunities or not.

b. Every individual is different from others. Therefore, different individual has different ability of recognizing opportunities. In addition, according to the discovery theory, individuals are always alert to the existing opportunities and this alertness is not a deliberate search, but the constant scanning of environment by individuals.

c. Risk bearing is an essential part of the entrepreneurial process. The first and second assumptions of the discovery theory also support the risk bearing condition of entrepreneurship. As per these two assumptions, individuals can only discover and avail opportunities, but cannot create opportunities. They apply a unique combination of resources, means they do things differently to bring innovation.

As there is no certainty about the success of discovered opportunity, entrepreneurs bears risks by availing opportunity on the estimated probability of its success. Thus, the discovery theory states that opportunities are objectives, individuals are unique, and entrepreneurs are risk bearers.

2. Creation Theory:

Creation theory focuses on entrepreneurs and the creation of enterprises. Similar to the individual/opportunity nexus, the creation theory also approaches three assumptions in entrepreneurship.

The three assumptions are as follows:

a. Opportunities are subjective in nature. The creation theory also emphasizes that opportunities are created through a series of decisions to exploit a potential opportunity. This theory asserts that opportunities do not have an existence without the actions of entrepreneurs. The creation theory is opposite to I/O nexus.

The I/O model asserts that opportunities are discovered by scanning the business environment and analyzing the market and industry structure. On the other hand, the creation theory supports the view that opportunities are created by hypothesis testing and learning.

For example, consumer electronics organizations, such as Samsung, creates opportunities by developing new products, trying out those products in the market, finding out the products that are reasonably successful, and filtering the successful products and improving their marketability.

b. Opportunities are not recognized by individuals, but created by them. The creation theory suggests that entrepreneurship does not require differences in individuals, but differences in their decision making under uncertainty. According to the creation theory, an entrepreneur is someone, who organizes resources after evaluating the value of probable outcomes.

c. Individuals bear uncertainty not risk. The creation theory suggests that entrepreneurs create opportunities and act on them after estimating the probability of their success. Thus, bear uncertainty not risk.

Thus, the creative theory suggests that opportunities are subjective, individuals are ordinary, and entrepreneurs are uncertainty-bearers.


Theories of Entrepreneurship – Top 3 Theories According to Eminent Authors

The entrepreneurial behaviour is likely to emerge when a society has sufficient number of people who possess certain sociological, psychological and economical features. Entrepreneurial behaviour is an innovation action taking behaviour that involves various risks and attracts good returns.

The theories of entrepreneurship development are divided into three theories.

The brief description of each theory are as follows:

1. Psychological Theory – Entrepreneurship is a psychological process and concept. According to this concept, psychological factors are the primary source of entrepreneurship development. When there are sufficient number of persons having the same psychological characteristics in the society, then there are bright chances of development of entrepreneurship.

2. Sociological Theory – Entrepreneurship is a sociological concept and process. According to this concept, the sociological factors are the secondary source of entrepreneurship development. As such, the social factors like social attitudes, values and institutions significantly influences the entrepreneurial supply in a society.

3. Economic Theory – According to this theory, an entrepreneur executes all activities due to economic incentives. The main aim of this theory is profit motive.

Theory # 1. Psychological Theories:

The entrepreneurship is termed as psychological concept and process. According to this theory, psychological factors are the primary source of entre­preneurship development. Few authors like Schumpeter, McClelland, Hagen and John Kunkell have expressed their opinion about psychological factors affecting entrepreneurship.

According to this theory, an entrepreneurship is important to emerge when the society has sufficient supply of individuals possessing particular psychological elements.

The main psychological theories are as follows:

(i) Joseph A. Schumpeter Theory

(ii) David C. McClelland Theory

(iii) Everret E. Hagen’s Theory

(iv) John Kunkell Theory.

The brief description of each theory are as follows:

(i) Joseph Alois Schumpeter Theory:

According to Joseph A. Schumpeter, the effective function of an entre­preneur is to start innovation in venture. This theory is also called innovation theory or dynamic theory. According to this theory, the entrepreneurs emerges because of individuals having certain psychological elements i.e., will power, self-intuitions, tolerance capacity. The entrepreneur is a person who has creative nature.

He regarded the entrepreneurship as a catalyst who checks the static conditions of the economy, there by initiates and thrusts a process of economic development i.e., innovation. He carries economy to new height of develop­ment.

This innovation includes:

1. Introduction of new goods,

2. Introduction of new methods of production,

3. Opening of a new market,

4. Discovering a new source of raw materials,

5. Carrying out a new source of an organisation.

Although, this theory also included other characteristics i.e., risk taking, superintendence and coordination, he emphasised that these attributes without the ability to innovate will not make an individual as an entrepreneur.

According to him, the following characteristics that appear in the behaviour of an entrepreneur are as follows:

1. An institutional capacity to see the things in a way which afterwards proves to be true.

2. Energy of will and mind to overcome static habits, desires and emotions.

3. The capacity to withstand social opposition.

According to him, an entrepreneur is an innovator who desires to earn profit through innovation. An entrepreneur is neither technical man nor a capitalist but simply an innovator. He introduces something new in the economy. He is motivated by establishing his psychological power. An entre­preneurship is formed for establishing his industrial empire. He has burning desires for creative activities.

He makes a distinction between innovator and inventor. An inventor discovers new methods and new material whereas an innovator is one who utilises or applies inventions and discovers to produce better quality goods that give greater satisfaction to customer and high profit to entrepreneurs. In this way, an entrepreneur is an innovator.

Schumpeter made it clear that an entrepreneur doesn’t have a single person but equal to an organisation. “What matter is the behaviour not the actor?” He emphasised more on technological innovations rather than on orga­nisational innovations. “Entrepreneurs are certainly not economic men in the theoretical sense.”

Critical Evaluation of J. A. Schumpeter Theory:

In this theory, the main theme is the innovation. He makes a distinction between an innovator and an inventor. According to him, an inventor discovers new methods and new materials. But an innovator is one who applies inventions and discovers in order to make new combination.

With the help of new combination, he pro­duces newer and better goods which yields satisfaction as well as profits. Schumpeter’s concept of entrepreneurship is quite broad based. It includes not only the independent businessmen but also executives and managers who actually undertake innovative functions.

(ii) David C. McClelland’s Theory:

David C. McClelland has given a particular concept of entrepreneurship. According to him, needs for high achievement is an essential feature of entrepre­neurial behaviour. According to McClelland, “Burning desire of need for achievement attracts an entrepreneur for activities.”

The primary basis of the development of an entrepreneurship is achieve­ment orientation. The capacity of becoming an entrepreneur develops due to desire of reaching heights of excellence and specific performance.

For achieving heights of excellence and specific performances, an entre­preneur needs rational thinking, new combinations, deep thinking, power etc. The achievement motive is uncalculated through child rearing practices, which stress standards of excellences, material warmth, self-reliance training a low, further dominance. Individuals with high achievement motive tend to take keen interest in situation of high risk desire for responsibility and a desire for a Concrete measure of task performance.

His views can be expressed by means of the following points:

a. Ideological Values,

b. Family Socialisation,

c. Need for Achievement,

d. Entrepreneurial Behaviour.

The following elements which are focused by McClelland are as follows:

a. Achievement Orientation,

b. Height of Excellence,

c. Imagination Power,

d. New Combination.

According to McClelland, needs for high achievement drives individual towards entrepreneurial activities. High achievement need can be developed through child rearing and schooling practices. People with high achievement need are not motivated by monetary rewards only, such people regard profit as a measure of success whereas people with low achievement needs are moti­vated by monetary rewards.

People with a high need for achievement derive satisfaction from achieving goals. High achievers want immediate feedback on their power performances. He has been able to establish the desirability of high need for achievement for entrepreneurial success in the economic development of country.

A drive to influence others and situations. It refers to one’s desire to influence and dominate other through use of authority. Goal’s achievement is less important than the means by which goals are achieved. McClelland and his associates have found that people with high power needs have a great concern for exercising influence and control.

McClelland theory is not free from criticism:

1. There is strong evidence to indicate from politics and religion that adult behaviour can be moulded or drastically altered in a relatively short time.

2. The contention that needs are permanently acquired.

Inspite of the above discussion, this theory highlights the importance of matching the individual and the job. People with high achievement needs success on work i.e., challenging, satisfying, stimulating and complexing. People with low achievement needs stability security and predictability.

Critical Evaluation of David McClelland’s Theory:

The psychological roots of entrepreneurship reveal that high achievement orientation ensures the success of entrepreneurs. But the empirical tools of concept used by McClelland are found to be highly suspect.

Empirical investigation also need the following:

(1) It is necessary to create a climate to enable the children to grow and become individuals with high achievement.

(2) It is possible to improve the performance of existing entrepreneur through imparting proper training and education.

(iii) Everett E. Hagen’s Theory:

Everett E. Hagen has also given a particular concept about an entre­preneurship. He has developed the theory of withdrawal of status. Hagen says, “Entrepreneurship is a function of status withdrawal.”

“Creativeness of disadvantaged minority group is the main source of entrepreneurship.” —Everett E. Hagen

Hagen considers “withdrawal of status respect as the trigger mechanism of change in personality formation” as entrepreneurship status withdrawal is the act of seeing on the part of some social group. The origin of this concept of psychological theory of entrepreneurship is based on Samurai community of Japan.

According to Hagen’s concept status withdrawal as fall of status of social group is the primary cause of personality development. Hagen identifies the following four types of events that can produce status withdrawal and prestige fall.

(1) Displacement of valued symbols.

(2) Denigrations of status symbols with a changing distribution of economic power.

(3) Inconsistency of status symbols with a changing distribution of economic power.

(4) No acceptance of expected status on migration to a new society.

Hagen opined that creative innovation or change is the basic feature of economic growth. He describes an entrepreneur as a creative problem shooter interested in things in the practical and technological realm. Such type of individual feels a sense of increased pleasure when facing a problem and tolerates disorder without discomfort. In traditional societies, position of authority are granted on the basis of status, rather than individual ability. That is why he visualised an innovative personality.

There are 4 responses:

(1) One who combines to work in the society but remains indifferent to work and position is called Retreatist.

(2) One who adopts a kind of defensive behaviour and acts in the ways accepted and approved in his society but with hopes on of improving his position is called Ritualist.

(3) One who forms a rebellion and attempts to establish a new society is called Reformist.

(4) A creative individual who is likely to be an entrepreneur is called Innovator.

Innovation requires creative and such creative individuals cause economic growth. Whenever there is a withdrawal of status respect, it would give rise to birth of innovation of a creative individual who is likely to be an entrepreneur.

Critical Evaluation of E. Hagen’s Theory:

This theory acts as dis­tinction between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. There are different factors within the organisation which motivate the executives and professionals to do some innovative behaviour leading to new product and services.

Actually, they are not governed by status withdrawal. The theory only suggests that the people who had enjoyed social standing at some stage in their histories fall into a retreatist phase with an urge to regain the lost status and emerge as an entrepreneurship personality.

(iv) John H. Kunkel’s Theory:

John H. Kunkel has also given a particular concept about entrepreneurship. He has presented a theory of entrepreneurial behaviour in connection to the development of entrepreneurship. Kunkel’s theory is concerned with the expressed activities of individuals and their relations to the previous and present surroundings, social structures, physical conditions and behavioural patterns determined by reinforcing and opposing present in the context.

Hence, entrepreneurial behaviour is a function of surrounding and social struc­tures, both past and present and can be readily influenced by the manipulative economic and social incentives.

Kunkel, “The supply and development of an entrepreneur depends upon the existence and extensiveness of four structure i.e., limitation structure, demand structure, opportunity structure, and labour structure.”

He has given stress on the following four types of structure for the deve­lopment of entrepreneurship:

1. Demand structure,

2. Opportunity structure,

3. Labour structure,

4. Limitation structure.

The description of each point is given as follows:

1. Demand Structure- The demand structure is of economic nature. This structure is changing day by day according to economic progress and govern­ment policies. The behaviour of individual can be made enterprising by affect­ing the main elements of demand structure.

2. Opportunity structure- The opportunity structure is formed by combination of supply of capital, managerial and technical skill production methods, labour and market, training opportunity establishment of an enterprise and conducting different activities.

3. Labour structure- The labour structure is directed by several factors such as source of livelihood, traditional outlook and life ambitions. The quality of labour influences the emergence and growth of entrepreneurship. Rather than capital intensive, labour intensive will serve our interest in a better manner. The problem of labour immobility can be solved by providing infrastructural facilities including efficient transportation wherever an entrepreneurship is promoted.

4. Limitation structure- We can say that the limitation structure is social and cultural. This structure affect the development of an entrepreneur.

Critical Evaluation of Kunkel Theory:

The theory assumes the ideal structures for the supply of entrepreneur. But generally there is discrepancy between objectives, structures and the actual incidence of entrepreneurs. It is due to the fact that there are inadequate or incorrect perception. In practice, entrepreneurship is also governed by the specific combination of circumstances which are generally not available in the environment.

At last but not the least, we conclude that all the authors i.e., J. A. Schumpeter, David C. McClelland, Everett E. Hagen and John H. Kunkel have given their own opinion on concept of psychological theory of entrepreneurship. This theory presents the certain psychological motives that are responsible for the evolution of entrepreneurship.

Schumpeter’s theory is one of the most important concepts of entre­preneurship which is richer and relevant. He has laid emphasis on innovativeness or creativity of an individual which makes him an entrepreneur.

McClelland theory has numerous practical implications. The person with high need achievement needs great concern for exercising influence and control.

Hagen’s theory laid more stress on technological changes which is the result as individual’s creativity. His concept depended upon withdrawal of status.

John H. Kunkel theory laid more stress on types of structure i.e., demand, opportunity, labour and limitation. All the structure affects development of an entrepreneur.

The main point which is focussed on all the theories is on the individual and his personality inference by environment factors in general and internal values in particulars.

Theory # 2. Sociological Theory:

The supporters of sociological theory says that the entrepreneurial activities is affected from social status hierarchy and values. Individuals’ position, tradition, cultural values, mobility and social status etc. are thoroughly effected to entrepreneurship development. The sociological theories depend on this concept.

The main sociological theories are as follows:

i. Frank W. Young Theory

ii. B.F. Hoselitz Theory

iii. Max Weber Theory

iv. Cochran Theory

v. Stocke’s Theory.

The description of each theory are as follows:

i. Frank W. Young Model/Theory:

Frank W. Young is not the supporter of role of individual in entre­preneurship development. They think that only group entrepreneurs have the capacity of extension of entrepreneurial activities due to the character of capacity to react. He believes on the concept of changeable society.

A group comes in reactive status when the following circumstances happen at one attempt.

a. When group experiences minority situation in society.

b. When group do not make approach upto effective social machinery.

c. When group is having sound and more institutional resources rather than other groups.

Overall, when a group sees their lower positional conditions & experience, they grow an entrepreneurial tendency due to reactive capacity. According to this theory, set of supporting instructions are the primary determinant factors of entrepreneurship development.

ii. B. F. Hoselitz Theory:

According to Hoselitz, “The development of industrial entrepreneur is based on only which type of society are there.”

a. Social process is not static.

b. Sufficient employment pattern is available.

c. Encourage to entrepreneurs for personality development.

Hoeslitz says, “Culturally marginal groups plays an important role in encouraging the economic development of any nation.”

He think that the marginal persons are more able in making creative adjustment in changed situations and during the adjustment process they make efforts in bringing real innovations in social behaviour. In addition to this, he emphasised on development of personal qualities for entrepreneurial develop­ment.

According to Hoselitz, “Managerial skill and leadership qualities are important factors for entrepreneurship. Besides this, education, training, social values, behaviour and social behaviour/institutions play a crucial role in personality development.”

Highlighted Points:

i. Entrepreneurship development is based on social progress and employment patterns.

ii. Personality development is an essential quality for entrepreneurship development.

iii. Culturally marginal groups are important characters for development process.

iv. Marginal groups are having the ability of innovation.

v. Managerial ability and leadership quality is must for entrepreneurship development.

iii. Max Weber Theory:

According to Weber, “A person who lives in which community, religion and follows the conventions and religious values.”

All these things completely affect by their professional life, energy, livelihood and enthusiasm.

In other words, Max Weber is connected with the emergence and success of entrepreneurs with social ethical values systems. He also associated the entre­preneurship development with protestants and other non-convents.

According to him, non-convents groups are those groups who gives pressure on capitalism, money rationality and thinking. They were almost successful in creating entrepreneurs, wealth collection, technology, capital for­mation and economic development.

“The modern economic development is explained to a greater extent, by the social factors as discussed in the foregoing lines. This becomes more prominently evident when we contrast the Indian culture with that of the western of particularly of the American culture. Even if we contrast the different sub cultures within the same larger society, the story of economic development is explained.”

Weber says that the religious beliefs and moral values are basically affected to people’s attitude, view trust and thinking pattern and people’s selected occupational pursuits as per earlier things.

Highlighted Points:

i. Entrepreneurship development is based on Protestants.

ii. Selection of occupation pursuits is effected from religious and social values.

iii. Religious and moral values are effected to people’s attitude, thinking power.

iv. Cochran Theory:

According to Cochran’s, ‘cultural values, role expectation and social acceptance plays prominent role in entrepreneurship development and entre­preneur is a model of personality.”

The success of an entrepreneur is basically affected from the following factors:

i. The social attitude of the person towards his occupation.

ii. The role expectations of the sanctioning group.

iii. The operational requirements of the job.

Thus, the social attitude of the person and the role expectations are deter­mined by the society’s values as well as sanctioning groups that determine the success and failure of entrepreneurship. Overall entre­preneurship development is associated with social environment.

At last but not the least, we conclude that all the authors i.e., Frank Young, B. F. Hoselitz, Max Weber, Cochran has given their own opinion on the concept of sociological theory. All the theories depend upon the social factors.

Frank Young’s theory says about the concept of changeable society. Reactive status transforms the group into an entrepreneur.

B. F. Hoselitz has given the importance to social factor. Under this theory, the marginal persons are more able in making creative adjustment in changed situations.

Max Weber theory says that those persons who are related with religious, community etc., follow the rules and regulations of that community only.

Cochran theory says that the entrepreneur is the model personality of the society.

Theory # 3. Economic Theory of Entrepreneurship:

According to this theory, an entrepreneur executes all activities due to economic incentives. The supporters of this theory, profit motive is the prime driving force that change an individual into an entrepreneur. As such an entre­preneur emerges due to incentives and economic profit.

According to J.R. Harris and G. F. Papanek, “The inner drive of a man is associated with economic gains, which drive him into economic activities. Therefore, they regard econo­mic gains as a pre-condition for the supply of entrepreneurs.”

Thus, the desire of increasing actual income and economic gains exist in any type of society. This tendency creates the spirit of economic development. They believe that the economic incentive is the basic condition of entrepreneurship.

According to Kirzner, “A typical entrepreneur is the arbitras, the person who discovers opportunities, the person who discovers opportunities at low prices and sells the same at high prices because of intertemporary and inter- partial demand.”

It means that an entrepreneur finds those situations in which he can earn profit by producing goods at low cost or purchasing goods at less prices and sell those goods at higher prices in market, he will take all possible steps and tend to act. No doubt, he is a seeker of profitable opportunities.

Overall this theory emphasises on economic gains and economic incent­ives which emerge the entrepreneurial class in a society.


Theories of Entrepreneurship – 4 Important Theories: Cultural Theories, Economic Theories, Psychological Theories and Sociological Theories

“He loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may case.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

There are four factors of production i.e., land, labour, capital and organization. Organization is the coordinating factor that brings together the other three factors and entrepreneurship is the element that powers and strengthens the organization. Many of the economists believe that entrepreneurship is itself the fourth factors of production that is the most important in driving a successful economy.

Entrepreneurs are defined by their risk taking abilities and their intentions to fill in the void because of the existing lack of knowledge about a product. According to them, the entrepreneur ventures are carried out where there is a gap in the development of a product. The entrepreneurs work to fill the gap by introducing something that increases the effectiveness of the already existing product.

The field of entrepreneurship continues to struggle with the development of a modern theory of entrepreneurship. In the past 20 years development of the current theories of entrepreneurship have centered on either opportunity recognition or the individual entrepreneur.

At the same time many theoretical insights have come from economics, including a rediscovery of the work of Schumpeter. However because there is a lack of clarity about the theoretical assumptions that entrepreneurship scholars use in their work, assumptions from both individual opportunity recognition and economics, have been used as if they are interchangeable. This lack of theoretical distinction has hampered theory development in the field of entrepreneurship.

Throughout the theoretical history of entrepreneurship, scholars from multiple disciplines in the social sciences have grappled with a diverse set of interpretations and definitions to conceptualize this abstract idea. Entrepreneurship is an evolved thing. With the advancement of science and technology it has undergone metamorphosis change and emerged as a critical input for socio-economic development.

Various writers have developed variety theories on entrepreneurship and popularized the concept among the common people. The theories of entrepreneurship that are propounded by many eminent theorists have been grouped under four categories.

They are:

I. Cultural Theories:

1. Theory of Imitating – Hoselitz

2. Theory of Social Culture – Stokes

II. Economic Theories:

1. Theory of Functional Behaviour – Casson

2. Theory of Economic Incentives – Papanek and Harris

3. Theory of Adjustment of Price – Kirzner

4. Theory of X-Efficiency-Leibenstein

5. Theory of Innovations-Schumpeter

6. Theory of Harvard School

7. Theory of High Achievement – McClelland

8. Theory of Profit-Knight

9. Theory of Market Equilibrium-Hayek

III. Psychological Theories:

1. Theory of Psychology-Kunkal

2. Theory of Personal Resourcefulness

IV. Sociological Theories:

1. Theory of Entrepreneurial Supply – Cochran

2. Theory of Religious Belief – Weber

3. Theory of Social Change – Hagen

I. Cultural Theories:

Cultural theories pointed out that entrepreneurship is the product of the culture. Entrepreneurial talents come from cultural values and cultural systems embedded into the cultural environment.

This theory supports two other theories i.e.:

1. Hoselitz theory and

2. Stokes theory.

1. Theory of Imitating:

According to Bert F. Hoselitz’s theory, supply of entrepreneurship is governed by cultural factors and culturally minority groups are the spark-plugs of entrepreneurial and economic development. In many countries, entrepreneurs have emerged from a particular socio-economic class. Hoselitz reveals that in several countries entrepreneurial talents are found in persons having particular socio-economic background.

He emphasized the role of culturally marginally groups like Jews and the Greeks in medieval Europe, the Chinese in South Africa and Indians in East Africa in promoting economic developments. Further he has emphasized on the theory through examples of Christians contributes to entrepreneurship in Lebanon, Halai Memon industrialists in Pakistan and Marwaris in India.

2. Theory of Social Culture:

According to David Stoke’s theory, entrepreneurship is likely to emerge under specific social sanctions, social culture and economic action. According to Stokes, personal and societal opportunities and the presence of requisite psychological distributions may be seen as conditions for an individual movement to get changed into industrial entrepreneurship.

II. Economic Theories:

According to these theories, entrepreneurship and economic growth take place when the economic conditions are favourable. Economic development takes place when a country is real rational income increases overall period of time wherein the role of entrepreneurs is an integral part.

Economic incentives are the main motivators for entrepreneurial activities. Economic incentives include taxation policy, industrial policy, sources of finance and raw materials, infrastructure availability, investment and marketing opportunities, access to information about market conditions, technology etc.

1. Theory of Functional Behaviour:

According to Mark Christopher Casson theories, entrepreneurship can provide a synthetic theory of the business firm that provides an integrated framework for many partial theories of the firm. His theory deals with the functional behavior of entrepreneur and his qualities which are crucial for his success.

Drawing on an institutional approach to entrepreneurship, it is argued that economic insights can combine with managerial perspectives to clarify and synthesize many strategic issues of firms. Four dimensions of environmental shock lead to different forms of entrepreneurship that leads, in turn, to different sizes and structures for firms.

Entrepreneurs create firms that identify and monitor sources of volatility and channel information to key decision makers in the firm; entrepreneurial firms are located at nodes of information networks. The standard rational action model of neoclassical economics is generalized to an uncertain world of volatility and differential access to information, which generates differing perceptions of the business environment.

2. Theory of Economic Incentives:

According to G.F.Papanek and J.R.Harris Theory, economic incentives are the integral factors that have induced entrepreneurial initiatives. Main features of this theory are- (i) Economic incentives, (ii) Link between economic gains and the inner urge and (iii) Economic gain.

3. Theory of Adjustment of Price:

According to M. Kirzner, the chief role of entrepreneur is based upon the adjustment of price in the market. The buyer may pay higher price or seller may accept a lower price, which gives rise to opportunities for profit. Further if different prices prevail in the same market, there in an opportunity for profitable arbitrage between two segments.

4. Theory of X-Efficiency:

Harvey Leibenstein propounded the theory of X-efficiency which is popularly called Gap Filling Theory. According to Leibenstein, entrepreneurial functions are determined by the X-efficiency which means the degree of inefficiency on the use of resources within the firm.

It includes routine entrepreneur, new entrepreneurship, and twin roles of entrepreneur, gap filling, input completing and X-efficiency factor. An example of Leibenstein’s Thoery is Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is an entrepreneur for Indian Railways. He had turned around the Indian Railways by improving efficiency and innovation.

5. Theory of Innovation:

This theory is developed by Joseph Schumpeter, who believes that entrepreneur helps the process of development in an economy. Schumpeter’s theory of entrepreneurship is a pioneering work of economic development. Development in his sense implies that carrying out of new combinations of entrepreneurship is basically a creative activity. According to Schumpeter an entrepreneur is one who perceives the opportunities to innovate, i.e., to carry out new combinations of enterprises. He says that an entrepreneur is one who is innovative, creative and has a foresight.

According to him, innovation occurs when the entrepreneur:

i. Introduces a new product

ii. Introduces a new methods of production

iii. Opens new market

iv. Conquests of new source of supply of raw material

v. Carrying out new organization.

The theory emphasizes on innovation, ignoring the risk taking and organizing abilities of an entrepreneur. Schumpeter’s entrepreneur is a large scale businessman, who is rarely found in developing countries, where entrepreneurs are small scale businessmen who need to imitate rather than innovate.

In view of the above, Schumpeterian theory of entrepreneurship has got the following features:

(i) Distinction between invention and innovation – Schumpeter makes a distinction between innovation and invention. Invention means creation of new things and innovation means application of new things onto practical use.

(ii) Emphasis on entrepreneurial function – Schumpeter has given emphasis on the role or entrepreneurial functions in economic development. In his views development means basic transformation of the economy that is brought about by entrepreneurial functions.

(iii) Presentation of disequilibrium situation through entrepreneurial activity – The entrepreneurial activity represents a disequilibrium situation, a dynamic phenomenon and a break from the routine or a circular flow towards equilibrium.

Critical Evaluation:

Schumpeter’s theory of innovation is criticized on the following ground:

i. The theory has the scope of entrepreneurism in the sense that it has included the individual businessman along with the directors and managers of the company.

ii. Schumpeter’s innovating entrepreneurs represents the enterprise with the R&D and innovative character. But developing countries lack these characters.

iii. The theory emphasizes on innovation and excludes the risk taking and organizing aspects.

iv. Schumpeter’s entrepreneurs are large scale businessman who introduces new technology, method of production.

v. Schumpeter remained silent about as to why some economists had more entrepreneurial talent than others.

However, despite the above criticisms, this theory is regarded as one of the best theories in the history of entrepreneurial development.

6. Theory of Harvard School:

Harvard school contemplated that entrepreneurship involves any deliberate activity that initiates, maintains and grows a profit-oriented enterprise for production or distribution of economic goods or services, which is inconsistent with internal and external forces. Internal forces refer to the internal qualities of the individual such as intelligence, skill, knowledge experience, intuition, exposure, etc.

These forces influence the entrepreneurial activities of an individual to a great extent. On the other hand external forces refer to the economic, political, social, cultural and legal factors which influence origin and growth of entrepreneurship in an economy.

This theory emphasizes on two types of entrepreneurial activities i.e.- (i) Entrepreneurial functions like organization and combination of resources for creating viable enterprises, and (ii) The responsiveness to the environmental condition that influences decision making function besides the above mentioned activities.

Harvard School also emphasizes on following points:

i. To search and evaluate economic opportunities,

ii. To master the process of mobilizing resources to accomplish the goal,

iii. To interconnect the different market segments for creating an absolutely ideal marketing environment,

iv. To create or expand the firm or business enterprise,

7. Theory of High Achievement:

This theory is developed by David McClelland.

According to him entrepreneurship has been identified with two characteristics such as:

(i) Doing things in a new and better way, and

(ii) Decision making under uncertainty.

He stressed that people with high achievement oriented (need to succeed) were more likely to become entrepreneurs. Such people are not influenced by money or external incentives. They consider profit to be a measure of success and competence.

According to McClelland, a person has three types of needs at any given time, which are:

(i) Need for achievement (get success with one’s one efforts)

(ii) Need for power (to dominate, influence others)

(iii) Need for affiliation (maintain friendly relations with others)

8. Theory of Profit:

This theory is developed by Knight, Frank H. He points out that entrepreneurs are specialized group of persons who bears risk and deals with uncertainty. Main features of this theory are pure profit, situation of uncertainty, risk bearing capability, guarantee of specified sum, identification of socio economic and psychological factors, use of consolidation techniques to reduce business risks.

9. Theory of Market Equilibrium:

According to Hayek, the absence of entrepreneurs in Neo-classical economics is intimately associated with the assumption of market equilibrium. The elasticity of bank credit causes a disparity between the natural and market rate of interest. According to this theory, the postulate presupposes the fact that there is no need for further information to modify the decision.

III. Psychological Theories:

Entrepreneurship gets a boost when society has sufficient supply of individuals with necessary psychological characteristics. The psychological characteristics include need for high achievement, a vision or foresight and ability to face opposition. These characteristics are formed during the individual’s upbringing which stress on standards of excellence, self-reliance and low father dominance.

1. Theory of Psychology:

This theory is developed by John H. Kunkel. According to him psychological and sociological variables are the main determinants for the emergence of entrepreneurs. According to him, entrepreneurship can be dependent upon the following structures in the economy, i.e.- (i) Demand Structure (ii) Limitation Structure (iii) Labor Structure and (iv) Opportunity structure.

Beginning with the premise that fundamental problems of economic development are non-economic, he emphasizes on the cultural values, role expectation and social sanctions as the key elements that determine the supply of entrepreneurs. As a society’s model personality, entrepreneur is neither a supernormal individual nor a deviant person but is a role model of the society representing model personality.

Model personality as a derivative of social conditioning, the role is partly shaped by the model personality that is a derivative of social conditioning of his generation. Further, innovation and invention go together with the type of conditioning in the society.

Role expectations and entrepreneurial role: Primary cultural factor operating on the personality of the executive and the defining of his role by those involved must accommodate to some degree to the necessities of the operation to be carried out.

2. Theory of Personal Resourcefulness:

According to this theory, the root of entrepreneurial process can be traced to the initiative taken by some individuals to go beyond the existing way of life. The emphasis is on initiative rather than reaction, although events in the environment may have provided the trigger for the person to express initiative. This aspect seems to have been subsumed within ‘innovation’ which has been studied more as the ‘change’ or ‘newness’ associated with the term rather ‘pro-activeness’.

IV. Sociological Theory:

Entrepreneurship is likely to get a boost in a particular social culture. Society’s values, religious beliefs, customs, taboos etc., influence the behaviour of individual’s in a society. The entrepreneur is a role performer according to the role expectations by the society.

1. Theory of Entrepreneurial Supply:

Thomas Cochran emphasizes on the cultural values, role expectation and social sanctions as the key elements that determine the supply of entrepreneurs.

2. Theory of Religious Belief:

Max Weber has propounded the theory of religious belief. According to him, entrepreneurism is a function of religious beliefs and impact of religion shapes the entrepreneurial culture. He emphasized that entrepreneurial energies are exogenous supplied by means of religious beliefs.

The important elements of Weber’s theory are described further:

i. Spirit of capitalism – In the Webbrian theory, spirit of capitalism is highlighted. We all know that capitalism is an economic system in which economic freedom and private enterprise are glorified, so also the entrepreneurial culture.

ii. Adventurous spirit – Webber also made a distinction between spirit of capitalism and adventurous spirit. According to him, the former is influenced by the strict discipline whereas the latter is affected by free force of impulse. Entrepreneurship culture is influenced by both these factors.

iii. Protestant ethic – According to Max Webber the spirit of capitalism can be grown only when the mental attitude in the society is favourable to capitalism

iv. Inducement of profit – Webber introduced the new businessman into the picture of tranquil routine. The spirit of capitalism intertwined with the motive of profit resulting in creation of greater number of business enterprises.

3. Theory of Social Change:

This theory is developed by Everett E. Hagen. It explains how a traditional society becomes one in which continuing technical progress takes place. It exhorts certain elements which presume the entrepreneur’s creativity as the key element of social transformation and economic growth. It reveals a general model of the society which considers interrelationship among physical environment, social culture, personality etc.

According to Hagen, most of the economic theories of underdevelopment are inadequate. Hagen insisted that the follower’s syndrome on the part of the entrepreneur is discouraged. This is because the technology is an integral part of socio cultural-complex, and super-imposition of the same into different socio-cultural set-up may not deliver the goods.

The Kakinada Experiment:

Conducted by McClelland in America, Mexico and Mumbai. Under this experiment, young adults were selected and put through a three month training programme. The training aimed at inducing the achievement motivation.

The course contents were:

i. Trainees were asked to control their thinking and talk to themselves, positively.

ii. They imagined themselves in need of challenges and success for which they had to set planned and achievable goals.

iii. They strived to get concrete and frequent feedback

iv. They tried to imitate their role models those who performed well.

Conclusions of the Experiment:

(i) Traditional beliefs do not inhibit an entrepreneur

(ii) Suitable training can provide necessary motivation to an entrepreneur.

(iii) The achievement motivation had a positive impact on the performance of the participants.

It was the Kakinada experiment that made people realize the importance of EDP, (Entrepreneurial Development Programme), to induce motivation and competence in young, prospective entrepreneurs.


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