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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 11: Teaching Effectuation

Saras D. Sarasvathy


There is some playfulness to learning a logic that seeks to stand every problem on its head. Students often bring to my class an idea they had been introduced to in another class they had been taking and then try to reframe Teaching effectuation 237 it using an effectual logic. I have shared some of these at other places in the book. Here are a few more examples that are worth investigating in future research, particularly through laboratory and field experiments in logical framing. 11.4.1 The Plunge Decision The reframing of the plunge decision came directly out of my class. Thereafter, I began gathering data on how entrepreneurs actually make that decision, which then led to my beginning to formulate the ideas about evenif theories in Chapter 9. MBA students routinely want to know how best to make the plunge into entrepreneurship. Most of them do not plan to start a new venture right out of school. They know that when the time comes, they would have real opportunity costs in terms of a stable salary to contend with. Once during a class discussion on the subject, students pointed out that you could frame the problem in one of two ways: first, as one of giving up X dollars in salary, in which case the burden of proof lies in projections of future returns that have to compensate for the potential loss of income; and, secondly, as a finite investment in terms of time and money with a...

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