IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Do You See What I Mean? An Entrepreneurship Perspective on the Nature and Boundaries of the Firm

Listed author(s):
  • Ivo Zander
Registered author(s):

    In answering the questions 'why does the firm exist?' and 'what determines its boundaries?', established theories of the firm have focused on boundary choice in a context of relatively easily identified and evaluated alternatives. This paper starts by asking the kindred question 'why does the firm come into existence?', shifting attention to the circumstances and choices surrounding new firm formation and the exploitation of new and untried business ideas. It proceeds to delineate an entrepreneurship perspective on the nature and boundaries of the firm, where boundary decisions are driven by the difficulty of implementing new, subjective means-ends frameworks in sometimes very unreceptive markets. A set of propositions developing the concepts of cognitive incongruence and cognitive incompleteness suggests that activities are internalized when other market participants are unable to accept or understand the entrepreneur's subjectively perceived means-ends framework. In conclusion, the paper supports the development of theory that explains choice of modes of action based on subjective world views and the emerging notion of a distinctive entrepreneurship-based theory of the firm. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 7 (November)
    Pages: 1141-1164

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:7:p:1141-1164
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:7:p:1141-1164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.