A Psychological Approach to Entrepreneurship
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A Psychological Approach to Entrepreneurship

Selected Essays of Dean A. Shepherd

Dean A. Shepherd

Within an entrepreneurial context, what a person thinks and feels and how they behave are hugely consequential. Entrepreneurs often work in scenarios of considerable time pressure, task complexity, uncertainty and high performance variance. This fascinating volume explores the unique psychological qualities of individuals directly involved in the entrepreneurial process.
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Chapter 7: Cognitive Processes of Opportunity Recognition: The Role of Structural Alignment

Denis A. Grégoire, Pamela S. Barr and Dean A. Shepherd


Organizations operate in complex and dynamic environments that are increasingly characterized by rapid, substantial, and discontinuous change (Brown and Eisenhardt 1997, Hitt 2000). To sustain a competitive advantage, managers must respond strategically to these changes (Ireland and Hitt 1999, Pérez-Nordtvedtetal. 2008). Indeed, significant gains in profit, growth, and/or competitive positioning can be made by those individuals and organizations adept at exploiting the opportunities that arise in such changing environments (Eisenhardt 1989, Eisenhardt and Martin 2000, Sirmonetal. 2007). From the perspective of individual actors, however, uncertainty about the origin, extent, and consequences of environmental changes makes the task of recognizing opportunities as challenging as it is relevant.

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