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An Outline of the Concept of Entrepreneur: Historical Analysis

Any institution, observes Drucker in “Post Capitalist Society”, “degenerates in mediocrity and lack of performance if it is not responsible in front of anyone for the results attained. The same thing happened with the great American corporations between 1950 and 1980”. This was the context in which during the 80s, Drucker’s attention turned to the entrepreneurial capitalism and to non – profit organizations. Drucker considers that the advent of a “real economy of the entrepreneurs in the United States within the last 10 or 15 years is the most significant event in the recent economic and social history”. Following the publishing of his book ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, a reporter of Inc. magazine asked Drucker if he agreed with the “conventional wisdom”, according to which there are managers and entrepreneurs, but these represent two distinct categories. Drucker’ answer was both yes and no: “There is managerial work and entrepreneurial work, but you cannot be a successful entrepreneur if you do not use your managerial skills and if you try to be a manager without being entrepreneur, you are in the risk of becoming a bureaucrat. Industry Towards

The entrepreneur is the capitalism’s hero and Drucker wanted that part of his prestige passes over the manager who needed him too much that particular time. Strangely, Drucker himself, the one who coined the concept of manager did not feel comfortable in using the word manager: “I see that I use the term executive more often because it involves the responsibility of a certain sphere, and not necessarily authority over people“. Further, Drucker was insensitive to the entrepreneur’s charm: “The image of innovators is the one of a hybrid between Superman and The Knight of the Round Table. Most of them are not romantic characters in their normal life and they spend hours to draft a project “. There was nothing miraculous in terms of entrepreneurship – a subject matter that could be taught just as mathematics. It is not a romantic aspect, but the biographic circumstances that made the enterprising spirit understandable for Drucker, since it was inoculated by his father’s friend of and former colleague at the Faculty of Economics at Vienna University, Joseph Schumpeter.
The essence of the enterprising spirit consists of “doing something else than improving what had already been done”. The entrepreneur innovates: “The innovation’ is the entrepreneur’s specific tool. It endows the sources with a new capacity of inserting prosperity. Although we often talk about it as being a technological change, the innovation is rather an economic or social term than a technical term “.
His work “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” is not intended to be a historical analysis, but nevertheless, it is intriguing that Drucker ignores the role of government in the entrepreneurial revolution of the industries with the high technology recently developed. As Manuel Castells asserts in the first volume of his analysis regarding the information era, “The Rise of the Network Society”, the real entrepreneur remained the taxpayer.
In agreement with the vision of contemporary neoclassic scientists, Schumpeter considers that “economy” is preoccupied by the nature of alternative options (allotment of rare resources for competitive purposes), that it represents a mental process and not the study of practical processes. It is not limited to a separate sector of human activity, but it refers to all choice related problems that regard both the isolated individual and the organized groups.
The author reminds us that the entrepreneur has a special role to this regard and he shares the idea that the analysis of individual behavior supposes a reasonable behavior. By this, he understands that the individual has preferences, that he/she knows how to express and in consequence, he/she will choose the solutions that improve his condition. This choice will always be made following cost comparison (costs that may pertain to the sacrificed chance) with the advantages of different possible options.