Strategic Entrepreneurs at Work: Nature, Discovery, and Exploitation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities
22 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2007
What do entrepreneurial opportunities look like? How do firms discover and exploit these opportunities to create value and sustain competitive advantage? This paper reviews the strategic management and entrepreneurship literatures to identify the nature and character of entrepreneurial opportunities and the entrepreneurial strategies that firms employ to seize and commercialize these opportunities. Three emerging schools are identified. The economic school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of the distribution of information about material resources in society. The cultural cognitive school argues that entrepreneurial opportunities exist as a result of environmental ambiguity and the cultural resources available to interpret and define these opportunities. Finally, the sociopolitical school stresses the role of network and political structures in defining entrepreneurial opportunities. We integrate these perspectives to offer a way to improve understanding of the opportunity creation and exploitation process.
Keywords: entrepreneurial opportunity, competitive advantage, information distribution, environmental ambiguity, networks
JEL Classification: L26, M13, O32, O33, Z13
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