Schumpeter’s entrepreneur – A rare case

Uwe Cantner*, Maximilian Goethner, Rainer K. Silbereisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we investigate Schumpeter’s description of an entrepreneur as an actor challenging conventional wisdom to overcome social resistance and skepticism along psychological, sociological and economic dimensions. We analyze motivational and contextual predictors of intentions to become an entrepreneur within a framework based on the theory of planned behavior, social identity theory, and self-categorization theory. Relying on survey data of scientists, our analysis finds that, among those scientists who indicate entrepreneurial intentions, a rather low, but non-negligible share shows entrepreneurial intentions based on a Schumpeterian attitude – i.e., acting against all odds – whereas the rest of the potential entrepreneurs seem to choose an entrepreneurial career in order to comply with the expectations of their social environment – they seem to follow the crowd. By additionally taking into account the Five-Factor model of personality, our finding that entrepreneurial intentions are determined by cognitive and social factors rather than by basic psychological traits leaves room for policy intervention to foster technology entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-214
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of evolutionary economics
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Schumpeterian entrepreneur
  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial intentions
  • Theory of Planned Behavior
  • Five-Factor personality traits
  • n/a OA procedure


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