How shared pre-start-up moments of transition and cognitions contextualize effectual and causal decisions in entrepreneurial teams

Although it is reported that early venture decisions are influenced by the relationships and common history of entrepreneurial team members, little is known about how the mutual interests and ambitions experienced in the pre-start-up phase provide a shared and relational context for joint decisions. Drawing on a multiple case study approach of nine entrepreneurial teams in new ventures, this study identifies the shared pre-start-up moments of transition during which team members’ prior work and life patterns start to change. We show that in these intense moments, shared entrepreneurial cognition evolves among team members—the relationality of which provides a unique social context for decision behaviors. Our findings conclude that effectual behaviors advance a theory of context because in simultaneously working with effectual and causal logics (albeit with varying intensities), team decisions are realized that are consistent with the relational context that emerges in the pre-start-up moment.

Journal or Publication:
Small Business Economics Journal
Denise E. Fletcher
Anne Tryba
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