The Operation of Entrepreneurial Intentions

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Barbara Bird

Barbara Bird

American University - Department of Management

Mariann Jelinek

College of William and Mary - Mason School of Business

Date Written: 1988


Entrepreneurship is the intentional creation or transformation of an organization to create or add value through the organization of resources. Entrepreneurs choose a product or service and the way to organize resources to add value. The value can be competitive efficiency or value-added; this essay focuses on the entrepreneurial creation of value-added. There are two broad determinants of entrepreneurial intentions, the individual and the context. Entrepreneurial intentions (or acts) are the link or bridge between the individual and the context. A model of entrepreneurial intentional action is presented, that has five facets or intention-related competencies. (1) Entrepreneurs link or structure existing resources (such as money, inventions, and work) through decisions and the timing of inputs and outputs and apply them to the market. (2) Clarity and consistency of vision are important to entrepreneurial success, which stakeholders come to share. Clarity of vision must be balanced with flexibility of strategic focus (the ability to change the frame of reference). (3) Also necessary is time agility, or the ability to move between long-term relationships and short-term actions. Thus accuracy of time frame estimation is critical. (4) Successful entrepreneurs must be able to shift between functions and roles. (5) Entrepreneurs influence others - both inside and outside the organization - to realize their intentions. They must use a wide range of other persons' resources and talents; this requires impression management, influence strategies, persuasion, assertiveness and monitoring venture work. This model provides the beginnings for a behavioral, process-oriented model of entrepreneurship. (TNM)

Keywords: Intention, Resource allocation, Entrepreneurial orientation, Skills, Entrepreneurial environment, Motivation, Startups, Resource management, Leadership, Behavior (individual), Interpersonal communication

Suggested Citation

Bird, Barbara and Jelinek, Mariann, The Operation of Entrepreneurial Intentions (1988). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Barbara Bird (Contact Author)

American University - Department of Management ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
(202) 885-1924 (Phone)
(202) 885-1916 (Fax)

Mariann Jelinek

College of William and Mary - Mason School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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