miércoles, 22 de agosto de 2012

J.A. Schumpeter (desde su biografía - 11)


“Schumpeter next turns his attention to the main protagonist of the system, the entrepreneur (or “New Man”) and to the entrepreneur’s necessary companion, “Profit.” He concedes that in some situations it is hard to identify the entrepreneur. In the real world of business, “nobody ever is an entrepreneur all the time, and nobody can ever be only an entrepreneur.” Particularly in large firms, the entrepreneur often not only innovates but also carries out day-to-day management.

For any given innovation, the entrepreneur “may, but need not, be the person who furnishes the capital.” Of all economic systems, capitalism alone enables people to become entrepreneurs before they possess the necessary funds to found an enterprise. In the end, “it is leadership rather than ownership that matters.” The failure of both the classical economist and Karl Marx “to visualize clearly entrepreneurial activity as a distinct function sui generis” –a distinction Schumpeter himself always underscored- was a crucial flaw in their analysis of capitalism.

The prior possession of money makes it easier to become an entrepreneur, of course, and successful ones usually become wealthy. But the historical record shows unmistakably that, in the countries Schumpeter is discussing, entrepreneurs come from all income groups and social classes. “Risk bearing is no part of the entrepreneurial function. It is the capitalist who bears the risk. The entrepreneur does so only to the extent to which… he is also capitalist, but qua entrepreneur he loses other people’s money.”

Having staked out the distinctive role of the entrepreneur, Schumpeter identifies entrepreneurial profit as the prime motivator –“the premium put upon successful innovation.” When other participants in the same industry see the new level of high profit, they quickly try to imitate the innovation. The entrepreneur tries to preserve his high profit for as long as possible, through patents, further innovation, secret processes, and advertising –each move an act of “aggression directed against actual and would-be competitors.” These are forms of what Schumpeter would famously call “creative destruction” in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.”

No hay comentarios: