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Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise

Saras D. Sarasvathy

To effectuate is to engage in a specific type of entrepreneurial action. It has special importance for situations where the future is truly unknowable or human agency is of primary importance. In Effectuation, Saras Sarasvathy explores the theory and techniques of non-predictive control for creating new firms, markets and economic opportunities.
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Chapter 2: What I Found and How

Saras D. Sarasvathy


RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This chapter presents the rationale for the research design, details of think-aloud protocols, the process for selecting subjects, and the research instrument. 2.1.1 Rationale for Research Design: Carnap versus Popper There are at least two views on the scientific design of a rigorous empirical study. The difference between the two views can be traced back to an old argument. As Hacking (1983) chronicles it: Rudolf Carnap and Karl Popper both began their careers in Vienna and fled in the 1930s. Carnap, in Chicago and Los Angeles, and Popper, in London, set the stage for many later debates. They disagreed about much, but only because they agreed on basics. They thought that the natural sciences are terrific and that physics is the best. It exemplifies human rationality. It would be nice to have a criterion to distinguish such good science from bad nonsense or ill-formed speculation. Here comes the first disagreement: Carnap thought it is important to make the distinction in terms of language, while Popper thought that the study of meanings is irrelevant to the understanding of science. Carnap said scientific discourse is meaningful; metaphysical talk is not. Meaningful propositions must be verifiable in principle, or else they tell nothing about the world. Popper thought that verification was wrong-headed, because powerful scientific theories can never be verified. Their scope is too broad for that. They can, however, be tested, and possibly shown to be false. A proposition...

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