Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise

New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series

Saras D. Sarasvathy

To effectuate is to engage in a specific type of entrepreneurial action. It has special importance for situations where the future is truly unknowable or human agency is of primary importance. In Effectuation, Saras Sarasvathy explores the theory and techniques of non-predictive control for creating new firms, markets and economic opportunities.

Chapter 12: Research Works-in-Progress

Saras D. Sarasvathy

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


No new venture is viable without self-selected stakeholders. This chapter is written by three of my earliest research partners. They have influenced my thinking in ways I cannot measure and are engaged in empirical investigastions that test and push effectuation beyond anything I might have imagined on my own. Their contribution is effectual in that they go beyond enhancing and growing the ideas in the book; they redefine and transform its possibilities. I include a very brief glimpse of their contribution in the following three sections, the first on effectuation and new markets written by Nicholas Dew, Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA; the second on effectuation and new-venture performance by Stuart Read, Professor at IMD, Switzerland; and the third on effectuation and private equity investing by Robert Wiltbank, Assistant Professor at Willamette University in Salem, OR. 12.1 NICHOLAS DEW ON EFFECTUATION AND NEW MARKETS How does a market’s time come? It’s a simple question but one that is not easily answered. We know a lot, mainly from economics, about how markets work once they exist. Once all the relevant variables are in place, we have a plethora of theoretical tools available with which we can analyse the behavior of markets, sometimes with great accuracy. But the truth is that we know a lot less about how markets come to be. One of the key reasons effectuation is an exciting idea is that it helps us answer this...

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