Selected Essays of Dean A. Shepherd
Chapter 9: To thine own self be true: Images of self, images of opportunity, and entrepreneurial action
Previous research in entrepreneurship indicates that entrepreneurs make decisions about opportunities based on fit with an ideal image of an opportunity. Interestingly, the images of experienced entrepreneurs versus novice entrepreneurs are different. Whereas novice entrepreneurs’ images of opportunity are based on newness and uniqueness, experienced entrepreneurs’ images of opportunity are based on profitability and feasibility. What this research suggests is that just as opportunities are not all the same, there are also distinct differences in entrepreneurs: and that these differences in entrepreneurs can affect their perceptions and decisions about opportunities. The purpose of our study is to identify a set of relevant differences in entrepreneurs and to investigate how these differences affect their images of opportunities. By so doing, we inform the question of “why, when, and how some people and not others discover and exploit opportunities”(Shane and Venkataraman, 2000, p.219).
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