University of Twente Student Theses


The first steps towards a quantitative measurement scale of Causation and Effectuation in a non-entrepreneurial student context.

Krebbers, L. (2015) The first steps towards a quantitative measurement scale of Causation and Effectuation in a non-entrepreneurial student context.

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Abstract:Entrepreneurs need to go through the entrepreneurial process in order to be able to identify, evaluate and exploit opportunities (Shane, 2012). This thesis investigates the entrepreneurial processes effectuation and causation in a non-entrepreneurial context. The objective is to develop a measurement tool that is able to capture the decision-making of students. This to investigate if students use a higher proportion of effectual or causal decision-making. An empirical quantitative study had been performed and data is collected by questionnaires. The scale development steps of Netemeyer, Bearden & Sharma (2003) were used to develop the measurement scale. Twenty-five scale items were developed based on existing scales in effectuation literature. These items were redefined for the student context. The questionnaire contained questions for each principle of effectuation and causation, all unipolar 7-point likert scale items. To reduce fatigue of respondents, a limited amount of two to three questions were chosen for each dimension. All scale items were judged by a variety of scholars and students. A scenario instrument was developed which addresses a hypothetical business case, in which respondents are able to make entrepreneurial decisions. Before the scale items were useful for analysis, factor analysis was performed. Factor analysis was used to find the underlying dimensions within the questionnaire. This to investigate if the principles' questions clustered together (Field, 2009) is intended by theory. Multiple assumptions were met to determine whether the data meets the requirements for factor analysis. The internal consistencies within the principles scored on the low side. Especially the Cronbach's alpha and item-to-total scores of the effectuation principles were quite mediocre. Low internal consistencies could be due multiple reasons and should not be intermediately discarded. A selection of ten scale items was chosen for the final parsimonious measurement scale (Alsos, Clausen & Solvoll, 2014). Containing one item for each of the ten principles of effectuation and causation. The causation items loaded together on one factor. This was the same for the effectuation items except for the principles `means' and `control', which cross-loaded on the causation factor as well. Face validity, construct and discriminant validity were confirmed while known-group validity was not. A paired sample t-test was conducted, the test compared the mean scores of effectuation with causation. There was a small but significant result that students use a higher proportion of causal decision-making. Further an interesting finding is that student entrepreneurs prefer effectual decision-making while non-entrepreneurial students prefer causal decision-making.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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