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Taxonomy of Entrepreneurial Activity

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Basic Concepts in Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1133.1 - 23.1133.19



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Paper Authors


Daniel M. Ferguson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Daniel M. Ferguson is a graduate student in the Engineering Education Program at Purdue University and the recipient of NSF awards for research in engineering education. Prior to coming to Purdue he was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. Before assuming that position he was Associate Director of the Inter-professional Studies Program and Senior Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology and involved in research in service learning, assessment processes and interventions aimed at improving learning objective attainment. Prior to his University assignments he was the Founder and CEO of The EDI Group, Ltd. and The EDI Group Canada, Ltd, independent professional services companies specializing in B2B electronic commerce and electronic data interchange. The EDI Group companies conducted syndicated market research, offered educational seminars and conferences and published The Journal of Electronic Commerce. He was also a Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago, where he founded and managed the bank’s market leading professional Cash Management Consulting Group, initiated the bank’s non credit service product management organization and profit center profitability programs and was instrumental in the breakthrough EDI/EFT payment system implemented by General Motors. Mr. Ferguson is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University.

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Sridhar S. Condoor Saint Louis University, Parks College of Eng.

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Abstract: Taxonomy of Entrepreneurial Activity The types of entrepreneurship that are observed in the marketplaces across the world couldbe differentiated based upon their status relative to their position within their paradigm and otherfeatures that describe their type of organization and organization strategy where they occur(Miller, 1983). One example of major organization types used for delineating the types ofentrepreneurship are for-profit and non-profit and the differentiating organization strategies as itrelates to entrepreneurial behavior revolve around the products, processes and conceptsembedded in those two categories of organizations. Bruce Barringer, the co-author of a popularentrepreneurship textbook however says ''entrepreneurship is a process" (Barringer & Ireland,2008). Michael Morris, the dean of the very first College of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma StateUniversity on the other hand states that framework of entrepreneurship involves theentrepreneurial context, process, person, concept, resources and environment (Morris, 2009).Disagreement between leaders in entrepreneurship education on how to define entrepreneurshiphas lead to more labels for types of entrepreneurship than there are types of ice cream. This paperwill present a taxonomy for defining types of entrepreneurial behavior that will categorizeentrepreneurial activity in ways that make it easier to record, describe, study, and fund. The types of entrepreneurial activity to be discussed in this taxonomy are organized first as atype of organization, second, as a type of concept or idea that drives change in that organization,third as the role of the individual who is driving the entrepreneurial event or change process, and,fourth, as the type of changes in products, processes and concepts. The changes driving theentrepreneurial activity will be classified as improving upon an existing paradigm orimplementing a new paradigm. Examples and a diagrammatic framework will be given for all ofthese types of entrepreneurial activity. For example, existing paradigm entrepreneurs can include small business managers(McDonalds or Starbucks franchise owners) and self-employed craftsmen (electricians orcarpenters) or professionals (lawyers, doctors, accountants). New paradigm entrepreneurs canalso include the small business manager, the self-employed, or even intrapreneurs ( individualsstarting up new businesses within existing companies)(Kenney & Mujtaba, 2007). The glorifiedhero of entrepreneurship and the 'classic' entrepreneur whom Schumpeter is credited asdescribing as the “'Creative Destroyer'” is what is sometimes meant by entrepreneur- and iscertainly the type of entrepreneur that who makes national news like Mark Zuckerberg whocreated Facebook. This paper will propose an overarching framework for all types of entrepreneurial activitythat will improve our ability to make comparisons and decisions about investing, researching orrecording entrepreneurial activity.Barringer, B. R., & Ireland, R. D. (2008). Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (Vol. 2nd Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/ Prentice Hall.Kenney, M., & Mujtaba, B. (2007). Understanding Corporate Entrepreneurship and Development: A Practitioners View of Organizational Intrapreneurship. Journal of Apllied Management and Entreprenurship, 12(3).Miller, D. (1983). The Correlates of Entrepreneurship in Three Types of Firms. Management Science, 29(7).Morris, M. (2009). Is there content in entrepreneurship? Paper presented at the The Experiential Classroom X, Tulsa, OK.

Ferguson, D. M., & Condoor, S. S. (2013, June), Taxonomy of Entrepreneurial Activity Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22518

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