Handbook of Research On Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research On Entrepreneurship

What We Know and What We Need to Know

Edited by Alain Fayolle

This indispensable Handbook offers a fresh look at entrepreneurship research, addressing what we already know, and what we still need to know, in the field. Over the course of 17 chapters, a collaboration of 24 highly-regarded researchers, experts in their fields, provide an insightful new perspective on the future of the study of entrepreneurship. They show that there is a need to redesign research in the field – enacting entrepreneurship out of the box – and consider the history of entrepreneurship whilst developing the future course for research. They also underline the importance of developing research at the crossroads of different fields and the need to explore new domains and/or revisit existing ones from differing perspectives. Finally, they express a desire for more continuity in research, developing knowledge around key concepts and insightful domains.
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Chapter 11: A review on effectuation

Stuart Read and Sharon Dolmans


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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