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Volker Bruns, Daniel V. Holland, Dean A. Shepherd and Johan Wiklund

Using human-capital perspective and the similarity-attraction paradigm, we examine the role of general and specific human capital in the decision policies of 114 Swedish loan officers in their assessments of small-business loan requests. We found that human capital characteristics had marginal impact on decision policy contingencies and that specific human capital had no significant influence on the probability of loan approval. However, we did find that the similarity between the loan officers' human capital and the applicants' human capital was a significant indicator of loan approval. The findings offer interesting insight into the heterogeneity of loan decisions processes and outcomes and future research opportunities are suggested.
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Candida Brush, Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland and Dean A. Shepherd

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Mason A. Carpenter, Melissa S. Cardon, Jeffrey. S. McMullen and Dean A. Shepherd

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J. Michael Haynie, Dean A. Shepherd, Jeffrey S. McMullen and James O. Fiet

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J. Michael Haynie, Dean A. Shepherd and Jeffery S. McMullen

We apply the prescriptions of the resource-based perspective to develop a model of entrepreneurial opportunity evaluation. We propose that opportunity evaluation decision policies are constructed as future oriented, cognitive representations of ‘what will be’, assuming one were to exploit the opportunity under evaluation. These cognitive representations incorporate both (1) an evaluation of the existing resource endowments (already under the control of the venture), which may be employed to exploit the opportunity under evaluation, and at the same time (2) an assessment of the future, wealth generating resources that must be marshalled (and subsequently under the control of the venture) in order to exploit the opportunity under evaluation.
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Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt and Robert A. Baron

Some managers and entrepreneurs decide to act in ways that result in harm to the natural environment, despite the fact that such actions violate their own values. Building on moral self regulation theory (Bandura, 1991), we propose that entrepreneurs’ assessments of the attractiveness of opportunities that harm the natural environment depend on the simultaneous impact of values and personal agency. By cognitively disengaging their pro-environmental values, decision makers (i.e., entrepreneurs) can (under certain circumstances) perceive opportunities that harm the environment as highly attractive and thus suitable for exploitation. The results of a judgment task that generated 1,264 opportunity assessments nested within 83 business founders offered support for this general prediction and indicated that the extent of founders’ disengagement of their pro-environmental values was stronger when they had high, rather than low, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and stronger when industry munificence was perceived as low rather than high. We discuss our new measure of moral disengagement in a decision-making context and the implications of the study’s findings for extant literatures on moral disengagement and sustainable entrepreneurship.
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Judith Behrens, Holger Ernst and Dean A. Shepherd

Research and development (R & D) generates projects, but the question often remains: which projects should be exploited? Building on the innovation, strategy, and managerial cognition literatures, we use a conjoint field experiment to collect data on 4032 decisions made by 126 R & D managers to test how project attributes, strategic context, and managers’ characteristics influence innovation exploitation decisions. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we find that (1) experience impacts project exploitation decision policies of middle managers more than senior managers, (2) divergent thinking across middle and senior managers increases with experience, and (3) experienced middle managers diverge from experienced senior managers in their decisions to exploit opportunities by placing greater emphasis on strategic context (relative to competitors and fit within the portfolio) and lesser emphasis on uncertainty (technological and demand). These findings have implications for the strategy and innovation literature.
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Anja Klaukien, Dean A. Shepherd and Holger Patzelt

This article investigates the role of affect in innovation managers’ decision to exploit new product opportunities—a decision central to the innovation process. The model proposes that different types of passion can trigger managers’ exploitation decisions but that this effect is contingent on experiencing excitement from events outside their work environment. A field experiment with 90 owner managers of young firms located in an innovation context (business incubators) shows that passion for work and nonwork-related excitement levels interdependently impact innovation managers’decision to exploit new product opportunities. Specifically, harmonious passion has a general positive effect on managers’ propensity to exploit. In contrast, the effect of obsessive passion is more complex and contingent on the additional excitement managers experience such that the positive relationship between obsessive passion and the decision to exploit is more positive with higher levels of excitement. These findings extend the product innovation management literature by acknowledging that decision-makers’ affective experiences influence innovation decisions and provide a first step toward understanding the role of affect and passion in the product innovation context. Second, the finding that obsessive passion and nonwork-related excitement interact in explaining opportunity exploitation decisions highlights the need to incorporate contingency relationships in models of innovation decision-making. Third, in drawing on a field experiment and the experimental manipulation of managerial affect during the decision-making task, this article answers a recent call in the project management literature to pursue less common methodological approaches and develop “broader theoretical schema” in order to enhance our understanding of innovation management. Finally, this study also has implications for practitioners because it can help innovation managers understand their own decision policies. To the extent that innovation managers are able to regulate their affective experiences, this improved understanding might prevent them from premature and faulty decision-making.
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Ethel Brundin, Holger Patzelt and Dean A. Shepherd

In this study we draw on the literature of emotions and entrepreneurial motivation to analyze how and why emotional displays of managers influence the willingness of employees to act entrepreneurially. Using an experimental design and 2912 assessments nested within 91 employees from 31 small entrepreneurially oriented firms, we find that managers' displays of confidence and satisfaction about entrepreneurial projects enhance employees' willingness to act entrepreneurially, whereas displays of frustration, worry, and bewilderment diminish employees' willingness. Moreover, we find that displays of satisfaction, frustration, worry, and bewilderment moderate the effect of managers' displayed confidence on employees' willingness to act entrepreneurially. Our findings have implications for the emotions and entrepreneurial motivation literature.
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Dean A. Shepherd, Evan J. Douglas and Jason R. Fitzsimmons

We investigate the assessments of career attractiveness by 283 MBA students from India and Thailand, to use GMAT and work experience to explain variance in mind-sets that have previously been associated with successful managers. The fast-moving global economy requires managers to have an entrepreneurial mind-set, yet we find that MBA students with higher GMAT scores have career mind-sets that are more averse to work effort and to risk, and therefore, the GMAT may discriminate against applicants with a greater propensity to behave entepreneurially.