The Formation of Opportunity Beliefs: Overcoming Ignorance and Reducing Doubt

Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal Vol 1. Issue 1. Year 2007. Page: 75-95

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-587

22 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2013

See all articles by Dean A. Shepherd

Dean A. Shepherd

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship

Jeffery S. McMullen

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: Nov 1, 2006

Abstract

Although (opportunity) beliefs are becoming increasingly recognized as fundamental to understanding entrepreneurial cognition and strategic action, little is understood about the mechanisms that are responsible for the formation and evolution of these beliefs. Introducing the mechanisms of gists, matching, and updating from philosophy's and psychology's coherence theory, we propose a theoretical framework to explain how third-person opportunity beliefs (beliefs that one has recognized an opportunity for someone with the right knowledge and motivation) are formed and how they evolve to become first-person opportunity beliefs (beliefs that one has recognized an opportunity for himself or herself). We conclude by examining how the model contributes to literatures ranging from entrepreneurial cognition and action, to strategic myopia and organizational attention, to opportunity recognition, discovery, and creation. Copyright © 2007 Strategic Management Society.

Keywords: gist, entrepreneur, discovery, recognition, risk, uncertainty

Suggested Citation

Shepherd, Dean A. and McMullen, Jeff and Jennings, P. Devereaux, The Formation of Opportunity Beliefs: Overcoming Ignorance and Reducing Doubt (Nov 1, 2006). Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal Vol 1. Issue 1. Year 2007. Page: 75-95; University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-587. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2277972

Dean A. Shepherd (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-5220 (Phone)

Jeff McMullen

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

P. Devereaux Jennings

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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