lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2012

J.A. Schumpeter (desde su biografía - 17)


“Since creative destruction is an evolutionary process, the performance of capitalism must be judged “over time, as it unfolds through decades or centuries.” Here, Schumpeter criticizes the approach of his fellow economists to the study of big business. It is useless, he says, to analyze a large company’s behavior at a single point in time –that is, to “accept the data of the momentary situation as if there were no past or future to it.” Yet this is the customary method. The typical economic theorist or government commission does not see the behavior of a major firm, “on the one hand, as a result of a piece of past history, and, on the other hand as an attempt to deal with a situation that is sure to change presently- as an attempt by those firms to keep on their feet, on ground that is slipping away from under them. In other words, the problem that is usually being visualized is how capitalism administers existing structures, whereas the relevant problem is how it creates and destroys them.”

Creative destruction constantly sweeps out old products, old enterprises, and old organizational forms, replacing them with new ones. “Every piece of business strategy acquires its true significance only against the background of that process and within the situation created by it.” Strategy, he goes on to say, “must be seen in its role in the perennial gale of creative destruction; it cannot be understood irrespective of it or, in fact, on the hypothesis that there is a perennial lull.” Any investigator who does not recognize these essential characteristics, Schumpeter concludes, “does a meaningless job.”

In using the term “business strategy” and likening corporate initiatives to military behavior, Schumpeter helped to set off a revolution in the analysis of business that is still thriving today. “Business strategy” and “corporate strategy” have gained extremely wide currency not only in the business press but in popular media as well. Numerous consulting firms specialize in strategy, and all business schools teach courses in it. Most of these schools have an entire department with the word “strategy” or “strategic” in its name. Hundreds of business books and thousands of articles published over the last six decades include “strategy” in their titles. It has been one of the most significant new ideas in business thinking since the 1940S. [Nota al pie:] “Schumpeter did not coin the term “business strategy,” but his use of it here was quite important in popularizing the idea. […] It is almost certain that in discussing business strategy along with entrepreneurs, Schumpeter was using a military analogy. As he wrote in 1946, “In my youth, I did, for instance, under a man who was considered an authority, some work in the history of strategy and tactics. The one thing that still stands out in my memory is that there is no unitary type of ‘military man’ or ‘great general’ and that the attempt to construct such a type only falsifies our picture of military history.”””

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