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Eugen Schmalenbach, Austrian economics, and German business economics

Michael Olbrich, David J. Rapp () and Florian Follert
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Michael Olbrich: IWP - Institut für Wirtschaftsprüfung (Universität des Saarlandes - Saarland University)
David J. Rapp: ETHOS - Ethique, Technologies, Humains, Organisations, Société - DEFI - Département Droit, Economie et Finances - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - LSH - Département Langues et Sciences Humaines - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - MMS - Département Management, Marketing et Stratégie - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - TIM - Département Technologies, Information & Management - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, DEFI - Département Droit, Economie et Finances - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, LITEM - Laboratoire en Innovation, Technologies, Economie et Management (EA 7363) - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - Université Paris-Saclay - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School
Florian Follert: IWP - Institut für Wirtschaftsprüfung (Universität des Saarlandes - Saarland University)

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Abstract: Eugen Schmalenbach was one of the founding fathers of business economics theory in the German-speaking world in the first half of the twentieth century. While Mises mentions or discusses Schmalenbach's work several times and Schmalenbach refers to, for example, Menger and Böhm-Bawerk, his opus and its significance for Austrian theorizing is largely ignored by today's Austrian scientific community. This fact is astonishing given that Schmalenbach's work smoothly integrates with and, even more importantly, enhances the reach of Austrian theory into the field of business economics, particularly with regard to the vast field of economic calculation. Based on Austrian insights, Schmalenbach published extensive approaches to both retrospective and anticipatory monetary calculation that serve the entrepreneur in making decisions on the use of scarce resources and in assessing the success of such decisions ex post. Hence, he operationalized Austrian economic calculation to enable the individual entrepreneur to concretely exercise it in his routine course of business. The conceptual ideas of Schmalenbach are cornerstones of Prussian-German business economics (Betriebswirtschaftslehre) which has been taught in universities and business schools in German-speaking countries for more than a century now. This paper, therefore, aims to introduce the Austrian community to Schmalenbach's work, to emphasize its significance for the advancement of Austrian theorizing, and to illustrate the close relations between Austrian economics and German business economics.

Keywords: Cost accounting; Eugen Schmalenbach; Austrian economics; German business economics; Economic calculation; Capital accounting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02891111
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Published in Review of Austrian Economics, Springer Verlag, 2020, ⟨10.1007/s11138-020-00520-x⟩

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02891111

DOI: 10.1007/s11138-020-00520-x

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