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Creativity, innovation, and the historicity of entrepreneurship

Jordan J. Ballor (Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Victor V. Claar (Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Article publication date: 6 September 2019

Issue publication date: 18 November 2019




Creativity and innovation are interrelated, and indeed often conflated, concepts. A corollary to this distinction is two different perspectives or types of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to explore the distinction between creativity and innovation on the basis of their relationship to history and implications for understandings of entrepreneurship.


This paper is a theoretical exploration of entrepreneurship understood in relation to a proper distinction between creativity and innovation. Creativity and innovation differ from the perspective of their relationship to what has already happened in history vs the radical novelty of a particular discovery or invention.


Creativity can be understood as what human beings do in connection with the fundamental givenness of things. Innovation, on the other hand, can be best understood as a phenomenon related to the historical progress of humankind. Innovation is what human beings discover on the basis of what has already been discovered. Entrepreneurs can be seen as those who discover something radically new and hidden in the latent possibilities of reality and creation. Or entrepreneurs can be seen as those who develop new, and even epochal, discoveries primarily on the basis of the insights and discoveries of those who have come before them in history.


This paper provides a helpful conceptual distinction between creativity and innovation, and finds compatibility in these different perspectives. A holistic and comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship embraces both its creative and innovative aspects, its metaphysical grounding as well as its historicity.



This work was supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.


Ballor, J.J. and Claar, V.V. (2019), "Creativity, innovation, and the historicity of entrepreneurship", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 513-522.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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