Saras Sarasvathy

Does Sweden have (or need) entrepreneurship policy?

​In conjunction with Saras Sarasvathy's promotion to honorary doctor at Chalmers, a panel of Chalmers Vice presidents, national policy makers, and local entrepreneurs will join us to discuss the existence (or not) and need (or not) of entrepreneurship policy. 


Saras Sarasvathy (Chalmers honorary doctor and Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Virginia)
Anders Broström
(Managing Director, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum)
Ove Granstrand (former Professor, Industrial management and Economics, Chalmers)
Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson
(Vice President of Education and Life-Long Learning, Chalmers)

Johan Lassing
(CEO, Qamcom Technology)

Mats Lundqvist
(Vice President of Utilization, Chalmers)
Kjell-Håkan Närfelt
(Chief Strategy Advisor, Vinnova)
Anders Palmqvist
Vice President of Research, Chalmers)
Moderator, Henrik Berglund (Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chalmers)

Time and Place

The seminar takes place in the Vasa A auditorium at Chalmers, June 9th 13.00-15.00.
Free of charge, no pre-registration required.

Topic of discussion

To set the stage, consider these three quotes by economist of innovation and entrepreneurship Joseph Schumpeter:

“For actions which consist in carrying out innovations we reserve the term Enterprise; the individuals who carry them out we call Entrepreneurs.”

”The function of entrepreneurs is to reform or revolutionize the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or, more generally, an untried technological possibility for producing a new commodity or producing an old one in a new way, by opening up a new source of supply of materials or a new outlet for products, by reorganizing an industry and so on.”

Reflecting on the development of railroads:

“The entrepreneurial function consisted not so much in visualizing possibilities—everyone saw them and speculated on them—or in the solution of technological problems—the locomotive functioned sufficiently well by that time and was thenceforth improved almost automatically by a series of typically “induced” inventions, and no major problems impeded the building of the lines—as in the leadership of groups, in successfully dealing with politicians and local interests, in the solution of problems of management and of development in the regions the roads opened up. It was ‘getting things done’ and nothing else , a variety of pure entrepreneurship stripped of all accessories. But this entrepreneurship was often split between several individuals and is not always easy to attribute to any single one.”

As we can see, Schumpeter defines innovation as a function, separate from invention, that is carried out by entrepreneurs. Still, Swedish policy tends to focus on “research and innovation”, with little attention to entrepreneurship. This may partly be explained by the fact that entrepreneurship is commonly defined and measured in terms of occupational status (i.e. self-employment) or firm/industry structure (e.g. many new, young or small firms) rather than its economic and societal functional (i.e. ‘carrying out innovation’ and ‘getting things done’).

Fixing a rather penetrating gaze on what entrepreneurs do and what constitutes entrepreneurial expertise, professor Sarasvathy’s research suggests that we can (partly) codify and teach an ‘entrepreneurial method’ in much the same way as we can (partly) codify and teach a ‘scientific method’. See here for a short video and here for an interesting chapter from the recent
volume “Questioning the Entrepreneurial State”, which is currently being debated in Dagens Nyheter.

In light if these observations, the panel will discuss the following questions:

1)      Should Swedish “research and innovation” policy be complemented with entrepreneurship?
If so, what should such policy look like? Is there value in an integrated “entrepreneurship, research, and innovation” policy, or should such an entrepreneurship policy be kept separate? Should it add support or subtract barriers?

2)      Is entrepreneurship something that should be taught?
If so, what should be taught? How, where, when, and to whom?



Kategori Öppen föreläsning; Föreläsning; Seminarium
Plats: Vasa A, lecture hall, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Vasa Hus 2-3 entréhall
Tid: 2022-06-09 13:00
Sluttid: 2022-06-09 15:00

Sidansvarig Publicerad: on 08 jun 2022.