Harvard School Theory of Entrerpeneurship

This one is a bit of a stretch to call a theory, but we can perhaps think of it as a process theory or a discovery theory.

Pradhan and Nath (2011) discuss the Harvard School Theory of entrepreneurship. They say the theory views entrepreneurship as involving "all such activities that initiates, maintains and results in a profit oriented enterprise for production or distribution of economic goods or services and which is consistent with internal and external forces."

Mohanty (2005) suggests that the Harvard school theory involves internal analysis (e.g., assessing resources and capabilities) and external analysis (e.g., conducting political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal analyses and five forces analysis) and the selection among types of entrepreneurial activities (alternatives and recommendations). The theory resembles the common SWOT analysis, but applies specialized analysis techniques (e.g., PESTEL, P5Fs and VRIO).

The theory is similar to a contingency theory in that the right entrepreneurial activity must fit the internal and external environmental conditions. Thus, there is not a right answer for all ventures, but different right and wrong answers for each venture.

It is interesting to see what is basically the Harvard case process applied to entrepreneurial opportunities as a theory. It is in the same bucket as experiential learning, human capital theory, and other approaches that assume that students can learn to be entrepreneurs by doing a set of things.