This paper sketches the intellectual history of the Research Center in Entrepreneurial History, founded at Harvard in 1948, which helped established the contours of business history as a discipline. This history was shaped by the rivalry between N. S. B. Gras, the “father of business history,” and Arthur H. Cole, which defined still extant polarities in the field of business history. It provides context for the emergence of the figure of the “entrepreneur,” conceived of as an ambiguous and potent force of creative destruction, and of entrepreneurship as business history's preeminent and vital dynamic. The paper focuses on German émigré Fritz L. Redlich, who was central to the Center's work, and whose “creative entrepreneur” was conceived in explicit relation to the daimon, the godlike, frighteningly ambiguous, and often destructive power of inspiration and creativity.
Research Article|June 01 2017
The Harvard Research Center in Entrepreneurial History and the Daimonic Entrepreneur
History of Political Economy (2017) 49 (2): 267-314.
Robert Fredona, Sophus A. Reinert; The Harvard Research Center in Entrepreneurial History and the Daimonic Entrepreneur. History of Political Economy 1 June 2017; 49 (2): 267–314. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-3876481
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