Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 4: Neuroentrepreneurship: what can entrepreneurship learn from neuroscience?
A study at Cambridge (Lawrence et al. 2008) compared serial entrepreneurs to top managers and found that successful entrepreneurs and managers shared great ability at rational analysis (‘cold’ cognition). However, entrepreneurs demonstrated a significant edge in analyses that engaged both rational and emotional thinking (‘hot’ cognition). Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ cognition tend to occur in different areas of the brain’s front lobes. This is but one striking study suggesting a fruitful research agenda for applying theory and methods from neuroscience to a deeper, richer understanding of entrepreneurs and the processes that lie beneath entrepreneurial cognition and emotion. We propose here to present (a) a concise overview of the key issues where neuroscience can play a useful role and (b) present experimental evidence that examines interesting differences between economic entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Note carefully that emotions matter; it is no surprise that the Cambridge study found that ‘hot’ cognition was critical.
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