The Effectiveness of the Effectuation Approach on Opportunity Identificaton and Pursuit: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Field Experiment

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Identifying and pursuing opportunities for new business are crucial capabilities of successful entrepreneurs; as such, opportunity identification and pursuit have emerged as important areas of entrepreneurship education. Although prior research has suggested that individuals can improve their ability to identify opportunities through creativity training, we propose that a means-oriented approach of effectuation can be a viable alternative pedagogical approach to identifying and pursuing opportunities. In contrast to the creativity approach, which encourages brainstorming or distal association, the means-oriented approach of effectuation guides individuals to use their available means as the starting point of the process of opportunity identification and pursuit. We conduct a randomized controlled field experiment to investigate the effectiveness of effectuation training focusing on a means-oriented approach and compare it with a creativity training. The results from a sample of 43 small-scale business owners from Uganda provide support for our hypothesis. Whereas both the effectuation training and creativity training were effective, effectuation training revealed a greater increase in the number of business opportunities identified and a greater increase in the number of business opportunities pursued. The results suggest that the means-oriented approach of effectuation provides a viable tool to improve the identification and pursuit of business opportunities.
ZeitschriftAcademy of Management Learning & Education
Seiten (von - bis)562-577
Anzahl der Seiten16
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 15.12.2021