The Role of Organizational Learning in the Opportunity-Recognition Process.

Firms engage in entrepreneurship to increase performance through both strategic renewal and the creation of new venture opportunities. Organizational learning (OL) has become an effective avenue for strategic renewal. But what of creating venture opportunities—can OL enhance the process of recognizing and pursuing new ventures? This article argues that OL can strengthen a firm’s ability to recognize opportunities and help equip them to effectively pursue new ventures. First, we identify three approaches to OL—behavioral, cognitive, and action. Then, we introduce a creativity-based model of opportunity recognition (OpR) that includes two phases—discovery and formation. Next, we show how each of the three types of learning is linked to the two phases of OpR. We suggest propositions that support our claim that OL enhances OpR and offer examples of firms that have used these organizational-learning approaches to more effectively recognize and pursue venture opportunities. These insights have important implications for entrepreneurial firms seeking to advance the venture-creation process.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Thomas Lumpkin
Benyamin Bergmann Lichtenstein
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