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

  • Mitchell, J. Robert
  • Shepherd, Dean A.
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 138-154

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:25:y:2010:i:1:p:138-154
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

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    1. Paul C. Nutt, 1998. "How Decision Makers Evaluate Alternatives and the Influence of Complexity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1148-1166, August.
    2. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
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    4. Shepherd, Dean A. & Zacharakis, Andrew & Baron, Robert A., 2003. "VCs' decision processes: Evidence suggesting more experience may not always be better," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 381-401, May.
    5. Moore, Don A., 2004. "Myopic prediction, self-destructive secrecy, and the unexpected benefits of revealing final deadlines in negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 125-139, July.
    6. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage: Reply," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1514-1514, December.
    7. Robert A. Baron & Michael D. Ensley, 2006. "Opportunity Recognition as the Detection of Meaningful Patterns: Evidence from Comparisons of Novice and Experienced Entrepreneurs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1331-1344, September.
    8. Chen, Chao C. & Greene, Patricia Gene & Crick, Ann, 1998. "Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 295-316, July.
    9. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
    10. Dean A. Shepherd, 1999. "Venture Capitalists' Assessment of New Venture Survival," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(5), pages 621-632, May.
    11. Baron, Robert A., 1998. "Cognitive mechanisms in entrepreneurship: why and when enterpreneurs think differently than other people," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 275-294, July.
    12. Corbett, Andrew C., 2007. "Learning asymmetries and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 97-118, January.
    13. Davidsson, Per & Honig, Benson, 2003. "The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-331, May.
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    15. Baron, Robert A. & Markman, Gideon D., 2003. "Beyond social capital: the role of entrepreneurs' social competence in their financial success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 41-60, January.
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