Outlines of a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm

In A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (BTF), Cyert and March [Cyert, R.M., March, J.G., 1963. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ] present a clutch of ideas for explaining the behavior of established firms within an environment of well-defined markets, stakeholder relationships, technologies, and so on. In this paper, we outline a behavioral theory of the entrepreneurial firm that emphasizes transforming environments rather than acting within extant ones. In particular, we explicate three ideas that parallel key concepts in BTF: (1) accumulating stakeholder commitments under goal ambiguity (in line with a political conception of goals), (2) achieving control (as opposed to managing expectations) through non-predictive strategies, and (3) predominately exaptive (rather than adaptive) orientation. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Journal or Publication:
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Saras Sarasvathy
Nick Dew
Rob Wiltbank
Stuart Read
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