The Great Person School of Thought of Entrepreneurship

School of thought is the way of thinking about a subject matter and for a certain subject matter there can be more than one school of though. Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of making money, earning profits and increasing the wealth while posing characteristics such as risk taking, management, leadership and innovation. (To read more about What is Entrepreneurship click here) Many scholars have interpreted  Entrepreneurship in many ways resulting in maany schools of thought on Entrepreneurship. One such approach is “The Great Person” School of thought.

“The Great Person” School of thought was originated during the period of 1200 – 1700 which lasted until the French Revolution. This is the most simplest and the oldest thought on this literature. According to this school of thought the Entrepreneurship is an in born talent which can not be trained or learnt and Entrepreneurs need good charisma to progress as be successful. Entrepreneurship is seen as a “God Given Gift” where Entrepreneurs born with skills as a result of genes and groom Entrepreneurs when the circumstances arise.

Main characteristics of “The Great Person” School of though can be summarized as follows:

  • Entrepreneurs should possess good level of charisma to lead people.
  • Entrepreneurs should possess some level of physical attraction (height and weight) to attract people as the God Given Gift.
  • Entrepreneurs have to be highly motivated and should be able to act as an inspiration for other.
  • Courage and gut feeling is a must.
  • Entrepreneurs should be born with above mentioned characteristics and they can not be trained.
  • The aim of Entrepreneurship should be to provide well being to the society (create public goods to the society) rather than money making for personal consumption (Benevolent Entrepreneurship)

Even though this approach seems to simple and easy to understand it is criticized on many grounds such as:

Entrepreneurship is a skill which can be taught and people can learn it.

No charismatic characteristics are needed to be successful Entrepreneurs. In fact there are many successful Entrepreneurs who has a less attractive physical appearance.

The Entrepreneurship skills are not an inborn  skill but the environment in which s/he operates can shape up his thoughts and values which makes him/her a good Entrepreneur.

The motive for community development is not essential for an Entrepreneur. If he is interested in community development and society’s well being he can start up an organization for charity rather than being an Entrepreneur.

Note of Credits : This is article is based on a lecture done by Mr. Hasitha Wijesundara at APIIT-Sri Lanka on Strategic Entrepreneurship on 17/12/2010

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