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Exploring the Role of Experience in the Process of Entrepreneurial Learning

Diamanto Politis () and Jonas Gabrielsson ()
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Diamanto Politis: Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Postal: Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7080, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

No 2005/1, Working Paper Series from Lund University, Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: Researchers have recently showed an increasing interest in understanding entrepreneurship as an experiential learning process. In this article, we investigate the role of prior career experience for the development of entrepreneurial knowledge, i.e., knowledge that facilitates for individuals to recognize and act on opportunities as well as to organize and manage new ventures. Based on an analysis of 291 Swedish entrepreneurs we find links between various career experiences and the development of entrepreneurial knowledge. In addition we also find evidence that the entrepreneurs’ preference for exploring new possibilities vs. exploiting pre-existing knowledge are important to consider to explain this process. The study ends with a discussion of the findings, together with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: career experience; entrepreneurial learning; experiential learning; exploration; exploitation; liabilities of newness; opportunity recognition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2005-04-13
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