STUDIES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN WESTERN COUNTRIES: A NEW FIELD IN ECONOMICS
Studies of entrepreneurship established as a scientific discipline quite recently, although its phenomenon has been investigated since XVII-XVIII centuries in Europe (R. Cantillon, A.Smith, J.B.Say), and since early XX century in the USA (F.Walker, F.Knight). The fundamental work by J.Schumpeter 'The Theory of Economic Development' appeared when it had been commonly recognized that the new phase of economic development meant the end of small firms. This theme was further elaborated in works of behaviorists (D.McClelland). A new impulse for the establishment of this research area came from management science. The discussion on the economic role of business flared up in economic literature in the latest decades of XX century, because, as followed from advocates of small business, small firms had a significant contribution in technological change and innovation, and they created market turbulence and competitive environment. Small enterprises (the term used in western academic circles and official documents) now make up a major part of enterprises in all countries. They still have no standard definition, which is also true with respect to entrepreneurship, although western researchers agree that the essence of entrepreneurship is a launch of change through creation and exploitation of innovations. Studies of small business and entrepreneurship allowed to elaborate new approaches (Low and McMillan, J.Wiklund). The prevailed approach to studies of entrepreneurship involved microlevel, but in 90s researchers shifted to contextual aspects of entrepreneurship. In this context, the entrepreneurship is actively used by politicians as a factor promoting regional development. The latest studies of entrepreneurship use institutional theory, resource theory of firms and relational approach.
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