Making It Happen: Beyond Theories of the Firm to Theories of Firm Design

Current theories of the firm provide no explanation for entrepreneurial success except in terms of firm success. Even when the focus is on the entrepreneur, s/he is entirely cast as a bundle of traits/behaviors or heuristics/biases that serves to explain firm performance. In this article, I suggest putting the entrepreneur center stage, adopting an instrumental view of the firm. Drawing upon the work of Simon in symbolic cognition and Lakoff in semantic cognition, I explore how we can go beyond explanations based on economic forces and evolutionary adaptation to entrepreneurial effectuation; I end with specific research questions pertaining to firm design.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Saras Sarasvathy
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