Entrepreneurial Strategic Decision-Making
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Entrepreneurial Strategic Decision-Making

A Cognitive Perspective

Patrick A.M. Vermeulen and Petru L. Curseu

Strategic choices made by entrepreneurs have major consequences for SME performance. This book explores the factors that influence entrepreneurial strategic decisions using a cognitive theoretical framework.
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Chapter 12: Conclusions: An Outline of ESDM Research

Petru L. Curseu and Patrick A.M. Vermeulen


Petru L. Curs eu and Patrick A.M. Vermeulen ¸ To understand why and how entrepreneurs act in order to be successful we first have to understand how they think. This claim has been stated repeatedly in the entrepreneurial literature, however to date, most of the empirical research focuses on cognitive heuristics and biases used by entrepreneurs. The aim of this book was to further explore some of the cognitive underpinnings of entrepreneurial strategic decision-making (ESDM). Several problems were addressed and some theoretical propositions were put forward in the theoretical chapters presented in Part I, some of which were tested in the empirical studies presented in Part II. The chapters of the book answer a few interesting problems that have arisen in entrepreneurial cognition literature (for example, how is the decision situation represented in the cognitive system of the decision-maker?) and at the same time raises new ones that await their answers (or being addressed at all!). The most relevant insights of the book are summarized in a set of nine main problems associated with ESDM: 1. To what extent is ESDM a rational process and to what extent is this process similar to strategic decisions in large companies? The rationality debate dominates decision-making research. The basic assumptions (for example, omniscience, logic-based thought processes) of classical rationality perspectives on decision-making give more room to an instrumental (for example, existence of a specific aim and a belief system that drives decision-making behaviour) or procedural (for example, information-gathering strategies) view on rationality (Dean...

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