Harvard Business School2014-08-26 4:12 PM

Entrepreneurship as Experimentation

Abstract

Entrepreneurship research is on the rise, but many questions about its fundamental nature still exist. We argue that entrepreneurship is about experimentation: the probabilities of success are low, extremely skewed, and unknowable until an investment is made. At a macro level, experimentation by new firms underlies the Schumpeterian notion of creative destruction. However, at a micro level, investment and continuation decisions are not always made in a competitive Darwinian contest. Instead, a few investors make decisions that are impacted by incentive, agency, and coordination problems, often before a new idea even has a chance to compete in a market. We contend that costs and constraints on the ability to experiment alter the type of organizational form surrounding innovation and influence when innovation is more likely to occur. These factors not only govern how much experimentation is undertaken in the economy, but also the trajectory of experimentation, with potentially very deep economic consequences.

 

Full Article

Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 3 (Summer 2014): 25–48

http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=47253

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harvard Business School

哈佛商学院是世界最著名的商学院之一,是常春藤联盟商学院之一,早先名为”哈佛大学工商管理研究所“。美国教育界有这么一个说法:哈佛大学可算是全美所有大学中的一项王冠,而王冠上那夺人眼目的宝珠,就是哈佛商学院。哈佛商学院的名望,不仅是由于她首创了MBA学位,也不仅是因为她在管理教学中首创了案例教学法,还不仅是基于她拥有一个庞大的明星教授群,而是因为她确确实实向社会输送了大批极其优秀的人才。正是这些毕业生在社会上的卓越表现,才使哈佛商学院扬名世界。

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