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Path Dependent Entrepreneurs? A Decision Making Perspective


  • GianPaolo Abatecola

    () (Università degli Studi di Macerata)


In November 2011, Zahra and Wright published a very thought-provoking article aimed at discussing the state of the art associated with the entrepreneurship research domain. The main idea behind that article was that, although tremendously growing, entrepreneurship still lacks strong theoretical micro- foundations. Thus, this gap negatively affects the increasing efforts aimed at considering entrepreneurship itself as a per se discipline within the management literature. This research note seeks at contributing to fill this gap through explaining how the decision making literature can be useful to develop these micro-foundations. In particular, the research note uses the concepts of hidden traps and heuristics in decision making for the interpreting of that organizational behavior widely known as path dependence. It is known that, despite the latest relevant attempts, path dependence can be considered, for many aspects, as a black box to date. Opening this black box can represent an important opportunity for the research and practice of management widely. At the same time, this opportunity appears as greatly relevant also for the research and practice of entrepreneurship specifically, in that it can help both scholars and practitioners to orient, towards higher rationality, a number of entrepreneurial decision making processes mostly associated with the earliest stages of the organizational life cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • GianPaolo Abatecola, 2012. "Path Dependent Entrepreneurs? A Decision Making Perspective," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 24.
  • Handle: RePEc:tov:dsiess:v:24:y:2012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victor DeMiguel & Lorenzo Garlappi & Raman Uppal, 2009. "Optimal Versus Naive Diversification: How Inefficient is the 1-N Portfolio Strategy?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(5), pages 1915-1953, May.
    2. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
    3. Raghu Garud & Arun Kumaraswamy & Peter Karnøe, 2010. "Path Dependence or Path Creation?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 760-774, June.
    4. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    5. Gianpaolo Abatecola & Gabriele Mandarelli & Sara Poggesi, 2013. "The personality factor: how top management teams make decisions. A literature review," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 1073-1100, November.
    6. Henk W. Volberda & Arie Y. Lewin, 2003. "Co‐evolutionary Dynamics Within and Between Firms: From Evolution to Co‐evolution," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 2111-2136, December.
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    8. Pierson, Paul, 2000. "Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 251-267, June.
    9. Steinmetz, Lawrence L., 1969. "Critical stages of small business growth : When they occur and how to survive them," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-36, February.
    10. Busenitz, Lowell W. & Barney, Jay B., 1997. "Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large organizations: Biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 9-30, January.
    11. Jean‐Philippe Vergne & Rodolphe Durand, 2010. "The Missing Link Between the Theory and Empirics of Path Dependence: Conceptual Clarification, Testability Issue, and Methodological Implications," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 736-759, June.
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    More about this item


    Path Dependence; Entrepreneurship; Decision Making; Co- evolution;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration


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