Stages of Discovery and Entrepreneurship

14 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006

See all articles by Bart Nooteboom

Bart Nooteboom

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management

Date Written: 05 6, 2003


In an attempt at a systematic theory of entrepreneurship, this paper connects various literatures, from economics and business. In economics, there are many notions of entrepreneurship, some of which seem to contradict each other. For example, there are notions of entrepreneurship as an equilibrating and as a disequilibrating force. In this paper, these differences are connected with the issue of exploitation and exploration from the business literature. The question is how one can explore while maintaining exploitation. For this, a cycle of discovery has been proposed, with stages of equilibration and disequilibration which build on each other, in process where exploitation leads to exploration. It is proposed that different notions of entrepreneurship can be associated with different stages of that cycle. In this way, different types of entrepreneurship complement each other in an ongoing process of discovery.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, innovation, discovery, organizational learning

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, innovation, discovery, organizational learning

JEL Classification: M, M10, L2

Suggested Citation

Nooteboom, Bart, Stages of Discovery and Entrepreneurship (05 6, 2003). Available at SSRN:

Bart Nooteboom (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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