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 11: Passion for Work, Nonwork-Related Excitement, and Innovation Managers’ Decision to Exploit New Product Opportunities

Anja Klaukien, Dean A. Shepherd and Holger Patzelt

Extract

In today’s hypercompetitive environment, firms must continuously innovate and initiate new product development projects to gain and maintain competitive advantage (Artz, Norman, Hatfield, and Cardinal, 2010; Cooper, 1993; Ulrich and Eppinger, 1995; Wheelwright and Clark, 1995). Understanding the drivers of product innovation decisions has therefore become an important topic in the innovation and new product development literatures (Debruyne, Frambach, and Moenaert, 2010; Moenaert, Robben, Antioco, de Schamphelaere, and Roks, 2010). For example, recent studies have identified available resources, competitive situation, and project organization (Debruyneetal., 2010; Hultink and Langerak, 2002; McCarthy, Tsinopoulos, Allen, and Rose-Anderssen, 2006; Moenaertetal., 2010) as important factors triggering innovation decisions. While these and other studies have made important contributions to the understanding of decision-making in the context of innovation and new product development, the innovation literature has largely focused on environment, firm, strategic business unit, and product when explaining variance in innovation managers’ decision-making (cf. Page and Schirr, 2008). With few exceptions (e.g., Antioco, Moenaert, and Lindgreen, 2008; Boulding, Ruskin, and Staelin, 1997), existing work has neglected the impact of individual characteristics on managers’ innovation decisions. Specifically, the role of affect in shaping these decisions has been unexplored thus far. This is surprising because evidence suggests that innovation and new product development can be highly affective processes (Dillon, 1998; Shepherd, Patzelt, and Wolfe, 2011).

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