Three business academics have rounded up a number of more-or-less scholarly students of the spirit and exercise of enterprise -- but encyclopedic they aren't. Actually, the book barely advances an appreciation of the subject, and in some cases sets it back. For example, in his reflections on published information regarding personal characteristics (self-confidence, perseverance, and resourcefulness are found to be among them), Professor Hornaday concludes that "we need more definitive studies of personality traits, and such studies can best be carried out on living entrepreneurs." This insight is immediately applauded by Professor Knight in a commentary on his associate's essay which begins: "Professor Hornaday provides a broader perspective about sources of research information on living entrepreneurs than do most writers on the subject." That's a game of ivory-tower Ping-Pong -- and there re 18 more chapters like this. But to be fair, not all of them are quite so vacuous. In another, on the economics of entrepreneurship, Professor Brophy devotes eight pages to defining the market value of stock-purchase warrants.
May 1, 1982