The interplay of effectuation and causation in decision making: Russian SMEs under institutional uncertainty

The institutional context of Russia and the recent regime of foreign trade sanctions makes it a natural laboratory to study change in decision making regarding the international activities of SMEs. This research explores how the increased institutional uncertainty is evaluated, enacted and responded to by SMEs that are heavily involved in relations with international suppliers. This longitudinal multiple-case study reveals that although firms simultaneously use both causation and effectuation in their decision making, an increase of institutional uncertainty boosts effectuation. The study shows that the intensity of both types of decision-making logic varies along the studied period in accordance to changing perceptions of institutional uncertainty. Also, the studied firms use effectuation logic differently enabling us to distinguish two types of effectuation with contrasting performance implications: opportunity-driven effectuation and survival effectuation.

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International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal
Igor Laine
Tamara Galkina
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