University of Twente Student Theses


Effectual orientation: the influence of entrepreneurial passion and expertise

Neal, Jonas (2021) Effectual orientation: the influence of entrepreneurial passion and expertise.

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Abstract:Entrepreneurship research involves various different disciplines such as management, finance, economics, policy, sociology, and psychology. In each of those disciplines one of the most important points of attention is the entrepreneur itself. This is because the entrepreneur is responsible for different tasks within a company. These tasks can vary and may include developing, producing, marketing, or selling a product or business. In this sense, entrepreneurs have to make various types of decisions in their careers. To understand how entrepreneurs are framing their decisions scholars constructed different types of entrepreneurial decision-making models. One of those models was introduced by Sarasvathy (2001) who argues that there are entrepreneurs who follow an effectual or causal logic. The causational decision-making approach focuses on predefined goals. Once these goals are defined, the entrepreneur aims for finding the necessary means to achieve this goal. In contrast to that, the effectual approach focuses on the means first. This indicates that the main point of attention is the availability of resources and knowledge. Based on that means decisions are made. As previous research found that experts prefer the effectual logic over the causal, effectuation is often referred to as the logic of expertise. But entrepreneurs not only differ in their choice of decision-making. They also differ in their degree of entrepreneurial passion which is according to Cardon (2009) “at the heart of entrepreneurship”. There are two different dimensions of entrepreneurial passion intense positive feelings and identity centrality. These two dimensions can be found in three different domains of entrepreneurial passion. Those are passion for founding, passion for inventing and passion for developing. As each entrepreneur is experiencing passion differently, differences among expert and novice entrepreneurs can’t be excluded. In this sense, the variables of interest for this Master Thesis will be entrepreneurial expertise, entrepreneurial passion, and effectual orientation. The following main research question has been created to capture relationships among the presented variables: How is entrepreneurial passion and entrepreneurial expertise influencing an entrepreneur’s effectual orientation? To analyse different relationships among these variables a survey has been conducted including entrepreneurs from different age groups in Germany. The concepts have been captured by using existing scales that have been proven to be reliable and valid. In total 113 surveys have been collected from which 77 participants were expert and 36 participants were novice entrepreneurs. To analyse the collected data SPSS 26 has been used and different statistical analysis have been conducted. The results indicate that an entrepreneur’s effectual orientation can be influenced by certain domains of entrepreneurial passion. Especially the domains passion for developing and passion for inventing seem to have a significant influence on effectual orientation as they can be found significant for both groups expert and novice entrepreneurs. Passion for founding on the other hand has no significant influence on effectual orientation in both groups. These outcomes could have been partly expected as previous research did indicate an influence of entrepreneurial passion on effectual orientation. In addition to that it has been found that there is no difference in the effectual orientation of expert and novice entrepreneurs. This is surprising because previous research found opposite results, namely that experts clearly frame their decisions differently than novice entrepreneurs. Therefore, this study provides additional insights to the literature among the topics, entrepreneurial passion, entrepreneurial expertise, and effectual orientation. Furthermore, the results question current effectuation literature and stress further confirmation on the different preferences between expert and novice decision-making processes.
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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