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Outlines of a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm

Author

Listed:
  • Dew, Nicholas
  • Read, Stuart
  • Sarasvathy, Saras D.
  • Wiltbank, Robert

Abstract

In A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (BTF), Cyert and March [Cyert, R.M., March, J.G., 1963. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ] present a clutch of ideas for explaining the behavior of established firms within an environment of well-defined markets, stakeholder relationships, technologies, and so on. In this paper, we outline a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm that emphasizes transforming environments rather than acting within extant ones. In particular, we explicate three ideas that parallel key concepts in BTF: (1) accumulating stakeholder commitments under goal ambiguity (in line with a political conception of goals), (2) achieving control (as opposed to managing expectations) through non-predictive strategies, and (3) predominately exaptive (rather than adaptive) orientation.

Suggested Citation

  • Dew, Nicholas & Read, Stuart & Sarasvathy, Saras D. & Wiltbank, Robert, 2008. "Outlines of a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 37-59, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:1:p:37-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. James G. March, 1978. "Bounded Rationality, Ambiguity, and the Engineering of Choice," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 587-608, Autumn.
    10. Saras Sarasvathy & Nicholas Dew, 2005. "New market creation through transformation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 533-565, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lerner, Daniel A., 2016. "Behavioral disinhibition and nascent venturing: Relevance and initial effects on potential resource providers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 234-252.
    2. Daniel Appelhoff & René Mauer & Veroniek Collewaert & Malte Brettel, 2016. "The conflict potential of the entrepreneur’s decision-making style in the entrepreneur-investor relationship," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 601-623, June.
    3. Andriani, Pierpaolo & Carignani, Giuseppe, 2014. "Modular exaptation: A missing link in the synthesis of artificial form," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1608-1620.
    4. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9492-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Grichnik, Dietmar & Smeja, Alexander & Welpe, Isabell, 2010. "The importance of being emotional: How do emotions affect entrepreneurial opportunity evaluation and exploitation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 15-29, October.
    6. repec:kap:jinten:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10843-016-0168-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Reija A. Häkkinen, 2015. "Effectuating Person-Organization Fit - Effectuation in Organizations," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 4(2), pages 1-21, December.
    8. Dietmar Grichnik & Alexander Smeja & Isabell Welpe, 2010. "The Importance of Being Emotional: How do Emotions Affect Entrepreneurial Opportunity Evaluation and Exploitation?," Post-Print hal-00856603, HAL.
    9. Harris, Jared D. & Sapienza, Harry J. & Bowie, Norman E., 2009. "Ethics and entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 407-418, September.
    10. repec:eee:proeco:v:191:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Celestine Katongole & John C. Munene & Muhammed Ngoma & Samuel Dawa & Arthur Sserwanga, 2015. "Entrepreneur’s Intrapersonal Resources and Enterprise Success among Micro and Small Scale Women Entrepreneurs," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(04), pages 405-447, December.
    12. Vincent Onyemah & Martha Rivera Pesquera, 2015. "Cognitive Ambidexterity In Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Four Country Exploratory Study Of Women Entrepreneurs’ Early Customer Acquisition Strategies," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 6(1).

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