University of Twente Student Theses


Which entrepreneurial style is the best? : Research towards novice entrepreneurs and the correlations of cognition, causation & effectuation and successfulness.

Waardenburg, J.F. (2016) Which entrepreneurial style is the best? : Research towards novice entrepreneurs and the correlations of cognition, causation & effectuation and successfulness.

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Abstract:This research focusses on how entrepreneurs work, how they make decisions and how successful they are in doing business. The literature describes several entrepreneurial and cognitive styles but it is not clear which style is the best to apply. Should an entrepreneur use cognitive abilities only, or is intuition also useful. Or is it better to apply a set of effectual or causal principles. Therefore, after rigorous research, this thesis clarified the decision making behaviour of entrepreneurs, drivers of entrepreneurs and the way how entrepreneurs treat business. This thesis also researched the correlation of cognition and effectuation. This has been done by measuring the level of cognition, effectuation and successfulness. The following research question has been answered: ‘To what extent are entrepreneurial decision making processes influenced by cognitive styles of entrepreneurs and is this reflected in the success of the new venture?’ A quantitative research, with usage of validated scales, towards ‘real’ novice entrepreneurs resulted in 137 usable responses including 70 responses with financial information. The scale of Epstein et al. (1996) has been used to test the level of cognition and intuition, the scale of Alsos et al. (2014) has been applied in order to test the level of causation and effectuation. Success has been measured by calculating the profit margin. Regressional and correlational analysis have been conducted. This research showed that entrepreneurs who apply effectual principles are more successful. Next to that, there is a correlation between causation and cognition but not between effectuation and intuition. Also, it is not proven that intuition and cognition are strengthening each other which is against the expectations of the literature. Furthermore, causation and age are significantly negative related with success. The outcomes of the research indicate that novice entrepreneurs should apply effectual principles in order to become more successful. Next to that, entrepreneurs should be willing to accept external help if needed. Educational institutions and venture labs, which are focused on providing entrepreneurial support, courses or trainings, can adjust their curriculum in order to fulfil their clients’ needs with better and more specified education. Furthermore, it is clear that cognition and causation are correlated, but between intuition and effectuation is no correlation at all. Which means that these two dimensions totally differ from each other. Keywords: Cognition, intuition, causation, effectuation, success, novices, entrepreneurs.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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