Austrian Economics and Organizational Entrepreneurship: A Typology

Sara R. S. T. A. Elias, Todd H. Chiles, Qian Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We develop a new typology for making sense of the numerous strands of Austrian economics, and we demonstrate how this typology can guide organizational entrepreneurship scholars wishing to ground their research in Austrian thought. By doing so, we not only rediscover existing insights from the history of Austrian economic thought but also shed clearer light on important Austrian perspectives that have received less attention from organizational entrepreneurship scholars. Based on a combination of the core Austrian concepts of knowledge and change, our typology yields four distinct perspectives: two firmly rooted in equilibrium (equilibration and punctuated equilibrium) and two that break sharply with equilibrium (disequilibration and punctuated disequilibrium). We show how these perspectives are situated in different paradigms, each with its own set of ontological, epistemological, and methodological assumptions. We explain these assumptions for each paradigm in order to clarify how contemporary organizational scholars may appropriately use each perspective in entrepreneurship research. We illustrate our typology with selected empirical examples drawn from the organization studies literature in order to spotlight the types of questions that contemporary organizational entrepreneurship scholars can appropriately ask and answer from each perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
EditorsGuclu Atinc
PublisherAcademy of Management
ISBN (Electronic)2151-6561
ISBN (Print)0065-0668
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017


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