In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Entrepreneurship

  • Introduction
  • Textbooks
  • Journals
  • The Importance of Entrepreneurship

Management Entrepreneurship
Bruce R. Barringer
  • LAST REVIEWED: 20 January 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 January 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0039


The word “entrepreneur” derives from the French word entre, meaning “between,” and prendre, meaning “to take.” The word was originally used to describe people who “take on the risk” between buyers and sellers or who “undertake” a task such as starting a new business. Inventors and entrepreneurs differ from each other. An inventor creates something new. An entrepreneur assembles and then integrates all the resources needed—the money, the people, the business model, the legal structure, the risk-bearing ability—to transfer the idea into a viable business. Entrepreneurship is defined by H. H. Stevenson and J. C. Jarillo, two prominent entrepreneurship scholars, as “the process by which individuals pursue opportunities without regard to the resources they currently control.” Others see entrepreneurship as the art of turning an idea into a business. In both instances, the essence of entrepreneurship is identifying opportunities and putting useful ideas into practice. This task can be accomplished by an individual, a group, or an established corporation and requires creativity, drive, and a willingness to take risks. Compared to other academic disciplines, entrepreneurship is a new field. For instance, the first article in the Journal of Applied Psychology was published in 1917, while the first article to appear in an entrepreneurship journal was published in 1987. Entrepreneurship has since become a vibrant academic field. It has also captured the attention of individuals, groups, and governments across the world. Even young people are aware of entrepreneurship and its potential. In fact, according to a Harris Interactive survey of 2,438 Americans ages eight to twenty-one, 40 percent said they would like to start their own business someday.


There are two categories of entrepreneurship textbooks: (1) those that are used in introduction to entrepreneurship courses and provide a brief introduction to each of the major steps in the entrepreneurial process and (2) those that focus on niche areas within entrepreneurship and are used in advanced classes. Most of the textbooks are revised every two or three years owing to rapid advancements in the field and to reflect illustrations of new start-ups and contemporary entrepreneurs. Examples of the most widely used general and niche entrepreneurship textbooks are provided here. Barringer and Ireland 2012 explains the entrepreneurial process through four separate stages. Timmons and Spinelli 2009 is an important source that helped define the field of entrepreneurship. Hisrich, et al. 2009 can be used as a chapter-by-chapter guide to the entrepreneurial process. Kuratko 2009 is one of the first textbooks solely dedicated to the study of entrepreneurship. Barringer 2009 is most useful for business plan classes; Schindehutte, et al. 2009 is more appropriate for entrepreneurial marketing courses; and Cornwall, et al. 2009 is applicable to entrepreneurial finance courses.

  • Barringer, Bruce. Preparing Effective Business Plans: An Entrepreneurial Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009.

    This textbook is suitable for business plan classes and provides a step-by-step guide in how to write an effective business plan. It also provides templates for how to conduct a feasibility analysis and how to present a business plan to investors.

  • Barringer, Bruce, and R. Duane Ireland. Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures. 4th ed. Prentice Hall Entrepreneurship Series. Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall, 2012.

    This textbook lays out the entrepreneurial process as a series of four stages: (1) decision to become an entrepreneur, (2) developing successful business ideas, (3) moving from an idea to an entrepreneurial firm, and (4) managing and growing the entrepreneurial firm. The book places particular attention on the front end of entrepreneurial process, including opportunity recognition, feasibility analysis, and writing an effective business plan.

  • Cornwall, Jeffrey, David Vang, and Jean Hartman. Entrepreneurial Financial Management: An Applied Approach. 2d ed. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 2009.

    This textbook is suitable for entrepreneurial finance courses and offers an applied and realistic view of financial challenges and solutions for entrepreneurs. It covers both the processes of raising money and financial accounting.

  • Hisrich, Robert, Michael Peters, and Dean Shepherd. Entrepreneurship. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

    This textbook has a long and distinguished history and also helped define the field of entrepreneurship. Its chapters guide a student through the entrepreneurial process and provide detailed and accessible information on each step in the process.

  • Kuratko, Donald. Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process, Practice. 8th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009.

    This textbook was among the first dedicated solely to the teaching of entrepreneurship. It provides a comprehensive overview of the entrepreneurial process.

  • Schindehutte, Minet, Michael Morris, and Leyland Pitt. Rethinking Marketing: The Entrepreneurial Imperative. Prentice Hall Entrepreneurship Series. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009.

    This textbook is suitable for entrepreneurial marketing courses. It rethinks and articulates the basic building blocks of marketing with an entrepreneurial perspective.

  • Timmons, Jeffry A., and Stephen Spinelli. New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

    This textbook helped define the field of entrepreneurship. Timmons is one of the founders of the academic field of entrepreneurship. The textbook focuses on the process of getting a new venture started, growing the venture, successfully harvesting it, and starting over again. Provides a useful template for conducting a feasibility analysis.

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