Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

From Industrial State to Entrepreneurial State: Big Company and Entrepreneurs in John Kenneth Galbraith

Nogueira Antonio, ESIC Marketing&Business School

Unlike the neoclassical model, the political economy of John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) distinguishes between the planning system directed by the large company, and the market system in charge of the entrepreneurs. «The institution that changes our lives the most is the one we least understand, or, more accurately, the one we try harder not to understand. It is the modern corporation», he wrote. Technological change and changes in economic life in industrialized countries have made inevitable the role of large corporations in connivance with the State, from the second world post-war to our days, according to the american keynesian and institutionalist economist. However, despite what is commonly admitted, the individual company maintained a certain relevance in the galbraithian work. For Galbraith, the arts and design in their many facets are the stronghold of small business and an expansive part of economic life. Despite their limitations, he noted that the entrepreneurs are admired by almost everyone, in contrast with the multinational firm. Over time, the debate has moved towards the necessary innovative role of the State that visualizes risks and operates daringly in the way of entrepreneurs, catalyzing private investment into disruptive sectors (examples: Apple's iPhone, renewable energy sector, etc.) perhaps showing a mutual interaction that Galbraith advocated throughout his economic thought.


Keywords: John Kenneth Galbraith, Entrepreneurship, Big Company, State

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