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Outlines of a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm

  • Dew, Nicholas
  • Read, Stuart
  • Sarasvathy, Saras D.
  • Wiltbank, Robert
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 37-59

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:1:p:37-59
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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    1. Simon, Herbert A, 1993. "Altruism and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 156-61, May.
    2. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Recombinant Growth," Scholarly Articles 3708468, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. S. Klepper & S. Sleeper, 2002. "Entry by Spinoffs," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2002-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    4. Jerker Denrell & Christina Fang & Sidney Winter, 2003. "The Economics of Strategic Opportunity," LEM Papers Series 2003/10, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Levinthal, Daniel A, 1998. "The Slow Pace of Rapid Technological Change: Gradualism and Punctuation in Technological Change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 217-47, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Saras Sarasvathy & Nicholas Dew, 2005. "New market creation through transformation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 533-565, November.
    8. Jacob Goldenberg & Donald R. Lehmann & David Mazursky, 2001. "The Idea Itself and the Circumstances of Its Emergence as Predictors of New Product Success," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 69-84, January.
    9. Gino Cattani, 2006. "Technological pre-adaptation, speciation, and emergence of new technologies: how Corning invented and developed fiber optics," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 285-318, April.
    10. Nicholas Dew & S. Sarasvathy & S. Venkataraman, 2004. "The economic implications of exaptation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 69-84, January.
    11. Sarasvathy, Saras D., 2003. "Entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 203-220, April.
    12. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    13. Buchanan, James M. & Vanberg, Viktor J., 1991. "The Market as a Creative Process," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 167-186, October.
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