Alertness, Action, and the Antecedents of Entrepreneurship

Nicolai Juul Foss, Peter G. Klein

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    We review and critique Israel Kirzner’s concept of the entrepreneur, offering three challenges to his basic analytical framework. First, we characterize Kirzner’s emphasis on equilibration as a departure from the causal-realist price theory of Menger and his nineteenth- and twentiethcentury followers. Second, we contrast Kirzner’s idea of entrepreneurship as discovery with a more realistic, and operationally meaningful, notion of entrepreneurship as action, one that ties together the entrepreneurial and ownership functions. Finally, we discuss an inconsistency in Kirzner’s treatment of the antecedents of entrepreneurial discovery.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Private Enterprise
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)145-164
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Austrian economics
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Action
    • Discovery
    • Judgment

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