Entrepreneurial activities are inherently dynamic phenomena, but they have largely been treated as static in research. It is well established that they influence and are influenced by processes at different layers (i.e., individuals, teams, ventures, regions, countries). In this chapter we reflect on the reality of entrepreneurship from a complex systems perspective, and as such as a research field that benefits from a multilevel approach. First, we revisit multilevel theory and we expand on the importance of alignment and consistency in the level of theory, the level of measurement and the level of analysis. Next, we take a glance at several studies that have addressed multilevel issues in different topics of entrepreneurship. Finally, we discuss some assumptions of the multilevel perspective and ongoing challenges.
Susana C. Santos and António Caetano
Susana C Santos, Sílvia Fernandes Costa and António Caetano
This study presents the entrepreneurial potential construct in entrepreneurial teams competing in a venture competition, following a proxy for longitudinal research. We assessed the entrepreneurial potential profile of entrepreneurial teams and, based on the results, we were able to predict four track finalists and the grand finalist of the venture competition. The results based on the socio-psychological aspects of entrepreneurial potential profiles and team productivity of each team allowed us to predict (seven months ahead) the grand finalist of the venture competition awarded by an international expert judge panel. Our results showed that an entrepreneurial potential profile can be a useful tool to pick out successful and high potential teams. We also reflect on the relevance of considering entrepreneurial potential at the team level, considering entrepreneurship in a multilevel perspective. Key words: entrepreneurial teams, entrepreneurial potential profiles, psychosocial dimensions, venture competition
Susana C. Santos, Silvia Fernandes Costa, Xaver Neumeyer and António Caetano
This chapter contributes to the debate about what and how entrepreneurship should be taught. First, cognitive entrepreneurship education is introduced as the answer to the what question. Cognitive entrepreneurship education emerges from where entrepreneurial cognition, evidence-based teaching and entrepreneurship education intersect. On the basis of this intersection, cognitive entrepreneurship education is defined as those activities which, based on available evidence, aim to foster the knowledge structures that individuals use to make assessments, judgments or decisions involving opportunity evaluation, and venture creation and growth. Second, it is proposed that experiential learning is the most adequate method for how entrepreneurship should be taught, as it is more effective for learning and changing knowledge structures and reasoning processes. Using the experiential learning model of Kolb (1984) the authors suggest that five subjects of cognitive entrepreneurship education can be delivered using specific learning styles. These two building blocks constitute the foundations for developing students’ mindsets and awareness of entrepreneurship.
Susana C. Santos, Craig Mitchell, Hans Landström, Alain Fayolle and António Caetano
Sílvia Fernandes Costa, António Caetano, Arjan J. Frederiks and Susana C. Santos
Entrepreneurial cognition emphasizes the role of mental structures to explain how entrepreneurs think and act. The literature presents several perspectives on what these mental structures might be. Several studies have used the prototype perspective to explain entrepreneurial activities. Prototypes are abstract mental representations of objects or events, necessary to perform recognition and categorization processes, such as opportunity recognition. Even though prototype theory is very well rooted in cognitive psychology, there is no conceptual overview on how prototypes explain entrepreneurial activity. In this study we focus on prototype theory within entrepreneurship research, to have a deeper understanding on how these cognitive structures trigger entrepreneurial activity. A better understanding of prototype theory within entrepreneurship research, contributes to a better understanding of what prototypes are, and how prototypes can explain how entrepreneurs think and act. Therefore, in this chapter we have three main goals: (1) we aim to understand the foundations of entrepreneurial cognition within cognitive psychology; (2) to identify how prototype theory has been used within entrepreneurship research; and (3) to draw conclusions for future research on the predictors of entrepreneurial activities at a cognitive level, mainly at the opportunity recognition stage. Based on both our findings and the gaps in the literature that we identified, we present a research agenda for better understanding of the use of prototypes in entrepreneurship.
Susana C. Santos, António Caetano, Sílvia Fernandes Costa and Xaver Neumeyer
This study describes the entrepreneurial potential dimensions at different stages of the entrepreneurship process for individuals with different levels of entrepreneurial experience. We used the entrepreneurial potential construct and inventory to measure the most relevant individual characteristics associated with the preparedness to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) model, we compared five groups of individuals with different entrepreneurial experience: nascent entrepreneurs, own-managers of young firms, owner-managers of established firms, future entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. The results showed that entrepreneurial potential dimensions evidence different patterns among individuals with and without entrepreneurial experience. These results contribute to capturing a person-situation perspective in entrepreneurship. This mapping of different competency levels associated with different entrepreneurial experiences has practical implications, and it gives important clues for targeted training activities for the promotion of entrepreneurship.