Alfred Marshall Capital owner Entrepreneurship Management
Management Decision, 43 (5), p. 772-785
Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) made contributions to management history through his analysis about the different roles played by businessmen. He identified three distinct actors whose characteris-tics evolved during the turn of the twentieth century: capital owner, entrepreneur and manager. To do this, he considered businessman’s several aspects: as capital provider, uncertainty bearer, and knowl-edge’ user. We think that the Marshallian analysis is useful to explain: the problem that arises in the firm when property and control are separated; why directors of today’s firms are required to embody qualities as administrators and innovators; how to sort out the conflict that occurs in many family firms when the founder is unable to cope with the managerial complexities associated to growth. In this paper, we explore his insights in order to reveal why Marshall stands the test of time.