Neil Fligstein on sociology of entrepreneurship

From an interesting interview with Neil Fligstein (in The Browser), which he ends by reflecting on the future of economic sociology (though he is a bit harsh on economics :)

There’s a lot of interest in entrepreneurship, how new markets come into existence and their resemblance to social movements. Economics has almost nothing important to say about entrepreneurship and a lot of what’s being said about entrepreneurship comes from sociology.

Business schools are increasingly interested in applied economic sociology. Entrepreneurial studies are based on economic sociology. Courses on marketing and branding are infused with economic sociology. The main way in which economic sociology finds its way into the mainstream is through business studies and network analysis. And as for the dismal science of economics, I think reality undermines it every day without this assistance of sociologists.

Make sure to check out the rest of the interview as well, in which Fligstein discusses five of his most favourite economic sociology books (by Zelizer, Granovetter, Dobbin, Bourdieu and MacKenzie).


Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein’s new book is now available: Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm. Here is the book’s rationale. Best price so far at The Book Depository (paperback).

Entrepreneurship, long neglected by economists and management scholars, has made a dramatic comeback in the last two decades, not only among academic economists and management scholars, but also among policymakers, educators and practitioners. Likewise, the economic theory of the firm, building on Ronald Coase’s (1937) seminal analysis, has become an increasingly important field in economics and management. Despite this resurgence, there is still little connection between the entrepreneurship literature and the literature on the firm, both in academia and in management practice. This book fills this gap by proposing and developing an entrepreneurial theory of the firm that focuses on the connections between entrepreneurship and management. Drawing on insights from Austrian economics, it describes entrepreneurship as judgmental decision made under uncertainty, showing how judgment is the driving force of the market economy and the key to understanding firm performance and organization.