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A conceptual history of entrepreneurial thought

Patrick J. Murphy (College of Commerce, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Jianwen Liao (Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Harold P. Welsch (College of Commerce, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 1 January 2006




To interpret and explain evolution in entrepreneurial thought, using the application of history to unify the extant and wide‐ranging concepts underlying the field to detect a conceptual foundation.


A conceptual approach is taken, the paper undertaking a delineation of how past theory has brought about the field's current state and an identification of some conceptual areas for future advancement.


The importance and impact of the entrepreneurship field is increasing in academic and practical settings. A historical view on the conceptual development of entrepreneurial thought provides a lens for scholars as well as practitioners to interpret and explain their own entrepreneurial activity or research and formulate new questions.


The paper aids scholars and researchers to interpret and explain entrepreneurial activity.



Murphy, P.J., Liao, J. and Welsch, H.P. (2006), "A conceptual history of entrepreneurial thought", Journal of Management History, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 12-35.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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