Making it Happen: Beyond Theories of the Firm to Theories of Firm Design

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 28, Issue 6, 2004

Batten Institute Research Paper No. 2004 S 2

Posted: 8 Sep 2009

See all articles by Saras D. Sarasvathy

Saras D. Sarasvathy

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Current theories of the firm provide no explanation for entrepreneurial success except in terms of firm success. Even when the focus is on the entrepreneur, s/he is entirely cast as a bundle of traits/behaviors or heuristics/biases that serves to explain firm performance. In this article, I suggest putting the entrepreneur center stage, adopting an instrumental view of the firm. Drawing upon the work of Simon in symbolic cognition and Lakoff in semantic cognition, I explore how we can go beyond explanations based on economic forces and evolutionary adaptation to entrepreneurial effectuation; I end with specific research questions pertaining to firm design.

Suggested Citation

Sarasvathy, Saras D., Making it Happen: Beyond Theories of the Firm to Theories of Firm Design (2004). Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 28, Issue 6, 2004, Batten Institute Research Paper No. 2004 S 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1441656

Saras D. Sarasvathy (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.effectuation.org

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