IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Prior Knowledge and the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Listed author(s):
  • Scott Shane

    ()

    (R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)

Registered author(s):

    Before technological change leads to new processes, products, markets, or ways of organizing, entrepreneurs must discover opportunities in which to exploit the new technology. To date, research has not explained adequately why entrepreneurs discover these opportunities, which creates several conceptual problems in the entrepreneurship literature. Drawing on Austrian economics, I argue that opportunity discovery is a function of the distribution of information in society (Hayek 1945). Through in-depth case studies of eight sets of entrepreneurs who exploit a single MIT invention, I show that entrepreneurs discover opportunities related to the information that they already possess. I use these findings to draw several implications that differ from those prevailing in the entrepreneurship literature, including: (1) entrepreneurs do not always select between alternative market opportunities for new technologies; (2) the source of entrepreneurship lies in differences in information about opportunities; (3) the results of prior studies of entrepreneurial exploitation may suffer from bias; and (4) individual differences influence the opportunities that people discover, how their entrepreneurial efforts are organized, and how the government can influence this process.

    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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.11.4.448.14602
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Organization Science.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 448-469

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:11:y:2000:i:4:p:448-469
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    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:inm:ororsc:v:11:y:2000:i:4:p:448-469. 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: (Mirko Janc)

    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.