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Effectuation Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise

Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise

  • New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series

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 7: Entrepreneurship as a Science of the Artificial

Saras D. Sarasvathy


7. Entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial Effectuation is a design logic for making things in a human-made universe. In other words, effectual entrepreneurship is a science of the artificial (Simon, 1981). 7.1 MAKER, MAKING, MADE Mrs Tarleton: You always were one for ideas, John. Tarleton: You’re right, Chickabiddy. What do I tell Johnny when he brags about Tarleton’s Underwear? It’s not the underwear. The underwear be hanged! Anybody can make underwear. Anybody can sell underwear. Tarleton’s Ideas: that’s what’s done it. I’ve often thought of putting that up over the shop. George Bernard Shaw, in Misalliance (1909) Shaw’s John Tarleton is a self-made millionaire and founder of Tarleton’s Underwear. He believes in all things new. He built his business out of new products, new technologies and new efficiencies and is always on the lookout for new things. He uses his surplus millions to endow free libraries and is continually energized by people and ideas that seek to create a new order and new worlds, and perhaps even a new species, the next step in our evolutionary destiny – an enterprise close to Shaw’s heart. Tarleton sees himself as a creative thinker, a man of ideas, who just happens to make and sell underwear. The world’s specifications for the underwear are so specific that they practically define the shape of the solution; what scope then for creativity, design, and changing the world? As an entrepreneur, artist and friend of philosophers and scientists,...

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