There’s Still Hope for Foss and Klein

27 May 2008 at 10:53 am 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

Psychologists have not considered wisdom and creativity to be closely associated. This reflects their failure to recognize that creativity is not exclusively the result of bold discoveries by young conceptual innovators. Important advances can equally be made by older, experimental innovators.

That’s from the newest paper in David Galenson’s art history series, “Wisdom and Creativity in Old Age: Lessons from the Impressionists.” I notice the SSRN page has the title misspelled as “Wisom,” suggesting an old person typed it in.

Turning to entrepreneurship, there’s a common myth that entrepreneurial creativity declines sharply after age 30 but little systematic evidence for this. Given a suitably broad concept of entrepreneurship (i.e., not simply the establishment of new companies), we might expect entrepreneurial ability to increase with age and experience. Indeed, looking even at the conventional definitions, we find that the likelihood of self-employment and the probability of new-venture success are positively correlated with age and business experience (see Parker 2004 for details).

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Entrepreneurship.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rafe  |  27 May 2008 at 7:01 pm

    A good source for the literature on achievement (arts and science) and the role of intelligence and assorted measures of creativity or the capacity for lateral thinking is Liam Hudson’s book “Contrary Imaginations”. Above IQ 130 or so there is next to no correlation between IQ and achievement (compare running speed in sports) and most measures of creativity tend to be useless, suggesting that motivation and persistence are more important.

    In maths and physics people tend to do their best work early in life, life scientists and social scientists followed by writers take longer to do their best work. That partly reflects the difficulty in finding out what the problems are in those fields (mostly humanities and soft social sciences) that are obscured by jargon.

    Some young achievers continue to do new work but many are trapped by their fame or promoted to administration and committee work.

    Some good pointers for intellectual entrepreneurs can be found in this talk by Richard Hamming.

  • 2. Wu, Shu-Yuan  |  8 June 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I believe and I feel so too that people over their 30s should innovate and learn better. Well, it takes time to accumulate ‘chunks’ (Simon 1982) and links (Granovetter 1983), right?


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Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

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