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Entrepreneurial Decision Making: Examining Preferences for Causal and Effectual Reasoning in the New Venture Creation Process

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 2006/5, Working Paper Series from Lund University, Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: A growing body of studies emphasizes the discovery of opportunities and the decision to exploit them as the essence of entrepreneurial activity. Following this stream of research, we present a study that examines entrepreneurs’ preferences for causal and effectual reasoning in the new venture creation process. The dominating view is that entrepreneurial decision making to a large degree varies in response to the unique situational context. In contrast, we are in this paper particularly interested to what extent individual career experiences and career motives makes entrepreneurs in favour of one decision making logic over another. From this point of departure we develop hypotheses of the expected influence of career experience and career motives on entrepreneurs’ preferences for causal and effectual reasoning. Statistical analysis on a sample of 291 Swedish entrepreneurs give ample support for the argument that entrepreneurs’ career experience and career motives have a significant influence on entrepreneurial decision making. The finding suggests that future research into entrepreneurial decision making should include career experience and career motives as contingency variables. Furthermore, the article provides an attempt to operationalize entrepreneurs’ preference for causal and effectual modes of reasoning. To our knowledge no such operationalizations exists.

Keywords: entrepreneurial decision making; career experience; career motives; effectuation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2006-09-19
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cbe, nep-ent, nep-hrm and nep-tid
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