Decision Making in Entrepreneurship
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Decision Making in Entrepreneurship

Selected Joint Papers of Dean A. Shepherd

Dean A. Shepherd

In this volume, Dean Shepherd focuses on the varying topics of entrepreneurship unified through conjoint analysis. Although the topic of entrepreneurial decision making is broad, in doing so, he reveals the mechanisms that come into play during the entrepreneurial decision-making process.
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Chapter 3: To thine own self be true: Images of self, images of opportunity, and entrepreneurial action

J. Robert Mitchell and Dean A. Shepherd


While research in entrepreneurship continues to increase general understanding of the opportunity-recognition process, questions about its nature nonetheless persist. In this study, we seek to complement recent research that relates “the self” to the opportunity-recognition process by deepening understanding of the self vis-à-vis this process.We do this by drawing on the self representation literature and the decision-making literature to introduce two distinct types of images of self: images of vulnerability and images of capability. In a study of 1936 decisions about hypothetical entrepreneurial opportunities made by 121 executives of technology firms, we then investigate how both types of images of self affect the images of opportunities that underlie opportunity recognition. Our results indicate that both images of self – vulnerability and capability – impact one's images of opportunity.

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