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Strategic Entrepreneurs at Work: The Nature, Discovery, and Exploitation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities

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  • Yosem Companys

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  • Jeffery McMullen

    ()

Abstract

What do entrepreneurial opportunities look like? How do firms discover and exploit these opportunities to create value and sustain competitive advantage? This paper reviews the strategic management and entrepreneurship literatures to identify the nature and character of entrepreneurial opportunities and the entrepreneurial strategies that firms employ to seize and commercialize these opportunities. Three emerging schools are identified. The economic school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of the distribution of information about material resources in society. The cultural cognitive school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of environmental ambiguity and the cultural resources available to interpret and define these opportunities. Finally, the sociopolitical school stresses the role of network and political structures in defining entrepreneurial opportunities. We integrate these perspectives to offer a way to improve understanding of the opportunity creation and exploitation process. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Yosem Companys & Jeffery McMullen, 2007. "Strategic Entrepreneurs at Work: The Nature, Discovery, and Exploitation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 301-322, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:28:y:2007:i:4:p:301-322
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-006-9034-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, "undated". "Economic Fundamentals of the Knowledge Society," Working Papers 02003, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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    8. Bruce Kogut, 2002. "Capital market development and mass privatization are logical contradictions: lessons from Russia and the Czech Republic," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-37, February.
    9. John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid, 1991. "Organizational Learning and Communities-of-Practice: Toward a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 40-57, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zoltán J. Ács & Erkko Autio & László Szerb, 2015. "National Systems of Entrepreneurship: Measurement issues and policy implications," Chapters,in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 28, pages 523-541 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. repec:krk:eberjl:v:4:y:2016:i:3:p:131-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gerard George & Rekha Rao-Nicholson & Christopher Corbishley & Rahul Bansal, 2015. "Institutional entrepreneurship, governance, and poverty: Insights from emergency medical response servicesin India," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 39-65, March.
    4. Zoltán J. Ács & Pontus Braunerhjelm & David B. Audretsch & Bo Carlsson, 2015. "The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship," Chapters,in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 7, pages 129-144 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Vincent Lefebvre & Miruna Radu Lefebvre, 2012. "Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility at the Start-up Level: Constraint or Catalyst for Opportunity Identification?," Post-Print hal-00836856, HAL.
    6. Peter Klein & Per Bylund, 2014. "The place of Austrian economics in contemporary entrepreneurship research," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 259-279, September.
    7. Wu, Cindy & McMullen, Jeffery S. & Neubert, Mitchell J. & Yi, Xiang, 2008. "The influence of leader regulatory focus on employee creativity," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 587-602, September.
    8. repec:krk:eberjl:v:4:y:2016:i:3:p:181-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jeffery S. McMullen & Dimo Dimov, 2013. "Time and the Entrepreneurial Journey: The Problems and Promise of Studying Entrepreneurship as a Process," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(8), pages 1481-1512, December.
    10. Shepherd, Dean A. & Haynie, J. Michael & McMullen, Jeffery S., 2012. "Confirmatory search as a useful heuristic? testing the veracity of entrepreneurial conjectures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 637-651.
    11. Dimo Dimov, 2010. "Nascent Entrepreneurs and Venture Emergence: Opportunity Confidence, Human Capital, and Early Planning," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(6), pages 1123-1153, September.
    12. Jeffery S. McMullen & Benjamin J. Warnick, 2016. "Should We Require Every New Venture to Be a Hybrid Organization?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 630-662, June.
    13. McMullen, Jeffery S. & Kier, Alexander S., 2016. "Trapped by the entrepreneurial mindset: Opportunity seeking and escalation of commitment in the Mount Everest disaster," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 663-686.
    14. Rosa Caiazza & Aileen Richardson & David Audretsch, 2015. "Knowledge effects on competitiveness: from firms to regional advantage," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 899-909, December.
    15. Tischler, Joachim, 2014. "Characteristics of technological base, pace of technological development, and growth of young technology-based firms," EconStor Preprints 96156, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    16. Niklas Åkerman, 2015. "International opportunity realization in firm internationalization: Non-linear effects of market-specific knowledge and internationalization knowledge," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 242-259, September.
    17. P. Petrakis & P. Kostis, 2015. "The Role of Knowledge and Trust in SMEs," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(1), pages 105-124, March.
    18. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:11:p:345-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Serge Lenga, 2013. "Un effet modérateur des processus cognitifs de l'entrepreneur sur les opportunités d'affaires situées dans l'espace géographique," Working Papers hal-00832027, HAL.
    20. repec:ibn:ibrjnl:v:10:y:2017:i:6:p:227-235 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurial opportunity; competitive advantage; information distribution; environmental ambiguity; networks; L26; M13; O32; O33; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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