This paper builds on the recent efforts of a number of scholars to reintroduce entrepreneurship
into the research agenda of business historians. We consider the role of entrepreneurship
in the history of multinational business and globalization. The paper examines the
value and limitations of adapting recent social scientific theories and methods on
entrepreneurship to research on international business history. Specifically, we
focus on three recent areas of social scientific work on entrepreneurship and weigh
their value to business history research. First, we consider research on entrepreneurial
cognition and the extent to which it can be employed to understand the historical
ownership advantages of multinational firms. Second, we draw on concepts from entrepreneurial
strategy and finance and examine the extent to which they can be used to understand
the history of how firms allocated resources to uncertain international ventures.
Finally, we focus on the question of the diffusion of the benefits of globalization
and their impact on entrepreneurship within host economies. We conclude that the
cautious adoption of some of these recent conceptual developments offers fertile
opportunities for further research in international business history.