Stories have always captured the imagination of man. Be it timeless epics, like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, or more recent books, like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Steve Jobs’ biography, well-told stories have the ability to capture their audience’s imagination. And while fictional stories engage readers’ imaginations, true stories can inspire readers to act. As a result, looking back at true stories and history specifically relevant to entrepreneurship can be a valuable perspective to take in the study of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, the historical lens has been has been neglected in the past.
A recent article from Journal of Entrepreneurship entitled, “Indian Entrepreneurship through a Historical Lens: A Dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi ,” highlights themes of relevance to the study of Indian entrepreneurship. The author of the article Raj K Shankar has identified five themes from a review of academic literature. The five themes are: business history and entrepreneurship, context and entrepreneurship, caste and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in emerging economies, and entrepreneurship research using historical methods. The author argues that research in these areas can benefit immensely when looked at through a historical lens. The article also includes views from a dialogue with noted business historian, Dwijendra Tripathi, which help bolster the arguments.
With growing entrepreneurial accomplishments, India has gained the notice of many nations and companies around the world as a country with high entrepreneurial potential. As a result, it is important to understand and catalyze entrepreneurship, not only as a discipline of academic curiosity, but also as a field of pragmatic importance.
The abstract for the paper:
History arguably is most suited to inform entrepreneurship and its varied manifestations. It is equally well placed to address entrepreneurship’s primary challenge—longitudinal work in context. Despite repeated calls for this, it has remained a plea. Extant literature review provided five themes, which researchers can use to begin to look at entrepreneurship through a historical lens. These are: business history and entrepreneurship, context and entrepreneurship, caste and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in emerging economies and entrepreneurship research using historical methods. A dialogue with India’s pre-eminent business historian Dwijendra Tripathi adds perspective to the considerable potential these themes present for entrepreneurship research through a historical lens. Indian entrepreneurship provides context to this perspective and reinforces this need. Furthermore, the five themes provide research gateways for scholars in both business history and entrepreneurship.
Click here to read Indian Entrepreneurship through a Historical Lens: A Dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi free for the next two weeks from the Journal of Entrepreneurship.
*Meeting image attributed to Michael Cannon (CC)