Chapter 1 Introduction to A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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Within the span of a generation, innovation and entrepreneurship have emerged as two of the most vital forces in the economy and, even more broadly, in society (Link, 2017). It was not always that way. During the second industrial paradigm, or the era of mass production, particularly following World War II, innovation was barely on the radar screen of economics, management, and other social sciences. Rather, what mattered for economic performance was articulated concisely by the management scholar, Alfred Chandler (1990), in the title of his seminal analysis of firm competitiveness and productivity – Scale and Scope. Economic success lies in largescale production, which enabled companies to attain the highest levels of efficiency and productivity while reducing average cost to a minimum. The primacy of physical capital as the driving force underlying economic performance was mirrored at the macroeconomic level through the Solow (1956) model. Economic policy reflected the capital-driven economy with its focus on instruments to stimulate investment in physical capital. Innovation played at best a marginal role, which was considerably more than could be said for entrepreneurship. In an economy where scale and scope dictated competitiveness and efficiency, new and small firms were typically viewed as a burden on the economy, and they were characterized as constituting “sub optimal capacity,” meaning that they lacked sufficient scale to be efficient.

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