What We Know and What We Need to Know
Edited by Alain Fayolle
With more than 100 academic papers published in peer-reviewed journals, either on effectuation or actively referring to it, our main purpose in this chapter is not to try to capture all the richness and nuance already developed around the topic nor is it to focus on one specific area (that is, empirical research on effectuation (Perry et al., 2012)), but to provide something of a roadmap through the extant body of effectuation work, actively looking for promising off-ramps, intersections and possible next destinations. The effectuation journey is one that starts long before the Academy of Management Review article entitled 'Causation and effectuation: toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency' (Sarasvathy, 2001) went to press. It starts in the southern part of India during the early 1990s. And not at a desk, or in a refined institution of higher learning, but in a factory manufacturing plastic bottles. It started because this venture, the fifth the entrepreneur had built herself, was devastated by a flood. Uninsured, the entrepreneur was preparing to start from scratch and build again, having learned yet another lesson from this most recent class in the school of applied entrepreneurship. But somewhere along the way, she decided to step back and look at entrepreneurship more generally. What she saw was a powerful vehicle, without good instrumentation or an intelligible instruction manual. Entrepreneurship offered possibilities.
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