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To thine own self be true: Images of self, images of opportunity, and entrepreneurial action

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  • Mitchell, J. Robert
  • Shepherd, Dean A.

Abstract

While research in entrepreneurship continues to increase general understanding of the opportunity-recognition process, questions about its nature nonetheless persist. In this study, we seek to complement recent research that relates "the self" to the opportunity-recognition process by deepening understanding of the self vis-à-vis this process. We do this by drawing on the self-representation literature and the decision-making literature to introduce two distinct types of images of self: images of vulnerability and images of capability. In a study of 1936 decisions about hypothetical entrepreneurial opportunities made by 121 executives of technology firms, we then investigate how both types of images of self affect the images of opportunities that underlie opportunity recognition. Our results indicate that both images of self - vulnerability and capability - impact one's images of opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitchell, J. Robert & Shepherd, Dean A., 2010. "To thine own self be true: Images of self, images of opportunity, and entrepreneurial action," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 138-154, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:1:p:138-154
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    References listed on IDEAS

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