Entrepreneurship is at the top of the social, political, and economic agenda. It is seen as essential to economic growth and, as a result, policy-makers worldwide are devising strategies that encourage and promote entrepreneurial activity. However, despite the importance attached toentrepreneurship in innovation and economic growth, the entrepreneur remains a strangely elusive and intriguing character.While entrepreneurship has been examined previously from the standpoint of various disciplines such as economics and sociology, this volume focuses on entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial organization from a business history perspective. Well-known international scholars place entrepreneurshipin recent historical context and explore organizational innovation in firms from different sectors in America, Europe, and Japan. The coverage spans the entire twentieth century, from the beginnings of the radio communications industry in Europe to the computer networking industry of SiliconValley, and includes chapters on Bill Gates and Microsoft, corporate renewal in Sony and Samsung, and RandD and leadership succession in large British companies, such as Glaxo, Courtaulds, and Unilever. Other chapters throw light on companies and sectors that are perhaps unfamiliar toEnglish-language readers, such as the German retailing sector, the Spanish motor industry, and Japan's video game business.Three broad themes are addressed in the volume. The first examines the role of the entrepreneur in the creation of new firms and industries, arguably the raison d'etre of the entrepreneur. It does so by looking at entrepreneurship in five separate sectors in different countries. The second themeaddresses the institutional and organizational factors facilitating entrepreneurship and innovation, for example the role of the venture capital industry, the 'hiving-off' process of entrepreneurship, and corporate renewal by internal entrepreneurship. The final theme investigates entrepreneurshipin periods of transition, looking in particular at organizations in Britain and Japan to illustrate examples of corporate success and failure in making transformation.