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Mental disorders and entrepreneurship

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Mental disorders are usually studied as problems in need of remedies like medication, interventions, or counseling. However, some entrepreneurship researchers have suggested that mental disorders can be positively associated with entrepreneurship. The idea is that a disorder may be due to a mismatch between person and context. Perhaps people who may have mental disorders preventing them from, for example, taking a cubical job, may thrive in a more entrepreneurial environment. Maybe entrepreneurship is an outlet allowing people that might be dysfunctional employees to succeed (See Wiklund et al., 2018). Bogan et al. (2013) suggest that mood disorders cause difficulties for people in the job market and therefore leads them to pursue self-employment. Their data corroborate this. Some mental disorders may also confer advantages upon their hosts, at least for some entrepreneurial tasks. For instance, Wiklund et al. (2016) find that individual with ADHD may be more likely thrive doi

Actualization Theory of Entrepreneurial Opportunities

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The actualization theory of entrepreneurial opportunities introduced by Ramoglou and Tsang (2016) is intended to bridge the gap between discovery and creation theories of entrepreneurial opportunity. The discovery perspective views entrepreneurial opportunities as existing out there in objective reality waiting to be found and exploited by entrepreneurs. This implies that if an opportunity does not exist, then no amount of effort to exploit it will be fruitful. One would be spinning their wheels! Denying the objective existence of opportunities is a bit like arguing that if Edison had died early, we might not have the electric world we current experience as perhaps only he could subjectively construct the notion of electric light . Clearly it is a stretch to have so little faith in multiple independent invention . The creation perspective takes the opposite view, suggesting that opportunities do not exist outside of entrepreneurs themselves and are created by their cognitions and

Passion theory of entrepreneurship

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We have all seen motivation memes about passion. Some popular ones include: "passion never fails", "I live my passion", "follow your passion", "passion is priceless", "passion is purpose", "make your passion your paycheck", "your passion is your success", "ignite your passion", "find your passion", "your passion will find you" . . . We have also witnessed entrepreneurial passion on display when entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. TV shows like Dragon's Den and Shark Tank have helped to place passion at the center of our attributions of potential entrepreneurial success. "I like your passion" is a hallmark comment preceding made-for-TV deal-making. Passion and entrepreneurship theory Over the last two decades, entrepreneurship researchers have started to unpack the concept of entrepreneurial passion, which has long been a mainstay of motivation

Brain Parasite Theory of Entrepreneurship

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As always, we should take new theories with a grain of salt. In this case, you might get a little grossed out! The Toxoplasma gondii parasite is carried by felines (cats) and has be found to infect their human masters too. The parasite can be caught through contact with the animals and their bodily fluids and solids. The parasite causes brain cysts that last a lifetime and lead to behaviors including bipolar disorder, reduced fear, and lower IQ. Some have estimated that over 2 billion humans have been infected, though infection rates differ greatly by country. For instance, the U.S. infection rate is around 3%, while it may be as high as 50 to 70% in France and Mexico. Petr Houdek at University of Economics in Prague reviewed the literature in a 2017 paper published in the Academy of Management Perspectives . Research by Stefanie Johnson (Leeds School of Business) and colleagues (a gang of non-biologists) suggests that those infected by the virus are 1.7 times more likely to

First Mover Advantage Theory of Entrepreneurship

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Should entrepreneurs strive to be first? This is an important question that is relevant to myriads of decisions that entrepreneurs make involving commitments of resources and attention. For instance, given the option to implement two ideas, one with early entry potential and the other with late entry potential, which should an entrepreneur run with? According to Kerin et al. (1992) , "studies purport to demonstrate the presence of a systematic direct relationship between order of entry for products, brands, or businesses and market share." First mover advantage theory posits that new entrants that are earliest to a new market niche get several advantages, such a brand awareness and a reputation for innovativeness. Followers can built great brands too, though at a greater cost. Another first movers advantage is the ability to tie up factor markets by engaging in long term contracts with key suppliers, which makes it harder for followers to acquire the necessary co

Stakeholder theory of entrepreneurship

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The stakeholder theory of entrepreneurship is being developed by this blog's authors and associates  (e.g., Laplume, Walker, Zhang & Yu, 2020), but has roots in a debate that had occurred between professors Ron Mitchell and S. Venkataraman in 2002, over the connections between stakeholder theory (Freeman, 1984) and entrepreneurship.    Stakeholder theory had largely been born out of studies of large corporations managing their stakeholders to improve firm performance (i.e., between incumbent competitors), and had not been fully applied to the entrepreneurship area to explain entrepreneurial behaviors, processes, or outcomes.   They were discussing how entrepreneurship and strategy research tends to be about how new wealth is created, whereas stakeholder theory is more about how that wealth should be distributed. For the latter author, the value creation and distribution issues were separate problems, complementary perhaps, but requiring different logics. The stakeholder theor

Ambiguity Tolerance Theory and Entrepreneurship

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What is the ambiguity tolerance theory of entrepreneurship? Ambiguity tolerance theory can be traced back to Polish psychologist  Else Frenkel-Brunswik , whose work in 1949 focused on authoritarianism and ethnocentrism in children. Ambiguous information is everywhere and it can lead to the conclusion that there is no way out, no way to understand, or no viable way to proceed. The decision-making process can become paralyzed by ambiguity that prevents conclusive prescriptions. When there exist high levels of uncertainty about a particular entrepreneurial venture, those individuals that exhibit higher levels of tolerance of ambiguity, are more likely to succeed. The ability to tolerate conflicting information and deal with missing information makes the difference. The more uncertain a particular business opportunity, the more important it is that individuals are capable of tolerating the demands of conflicting information and vague information. We might expect that ventures

Individual-Opportunity Nexus Theory

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What is the individual-opportunity-nexus theory of entrepreneurship? There is a long standing debate about the origins of entrepreneurial opportunities. There is a divide between scholars that think entrepreneurs create opportunities, and those that believe they merely discover them. Scott Shane and Jonathan Eckhardt (2003) make the case that opportunities are found and discovered, not made or created. They propose that the foundation of the field of entrepreneurship relies upon the objectiveness of opportunities and would otherwise be on shaky ground. "[W]e define entrepreneurial opportunities as situations in which new goods, services, raw materials, markets, and organizing methods can be introduced for profit." - Eckhardt and Shane (2010) The theory suggests that it is the constant pivoting of the entrepreneur that lands him or her on an opportunity that exists out there, objectively. Although it resembles a process of search it appears from the outside to be a cr

Necessity versus opportunity entrepreneurship

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Scholars have divided entrepreneurship into different categories. For example, self-employed individuals are often not considered entrepreneurs. To be an entrepreneur, there has to be an organization being built. There is even a growing sense that only scalable forms of entrepreneurship should be encouraged (Shane, 2009). Another way to slice up entrepreneurs is to separate between necessity and opportunity entrepreneurs (Harding, 2002). Most entrepreneurship theories focus on opportunity entrepreneurship, but perhaps scholars should also embrace broader views that include entrepreneurship that is based on necessity, or at least consider a greater diversity of entrepreneurship (Welter et al., 2017). This approach looks at the motivations of the entrepreneurs, thus can be considered a motivational theory. Basically, if you have one of the two motives, you are more likely become an entrepreneur. Necessity entrepreneurs are individuals who start businesses because they cannot find a

Disagreeableness Theory of Entrepreneurship

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What is the disagreeableness theory of entrepreneurship? Gladwell (2013) introduces disagreeableness as a key attribute of entrepreneurs. Not needing the social approval of peers, is explained as a psychological capability of successful entrepreneurs. It is a capability because most people might be influenced by critical feedback. If a friend or family member says "that is a bad idea" and you stop...then you are agreeable, not disagreeable. He gives many examples, like IKEA pioneers in outsourcing production to Soviet periphery states during the Cold War, which was seen as a bad idea by many. In each case, the entrepreneurs are not afraid of being criticized (e.g., even for crossing into Eastern Europe). Disapproval should not stop an entrepreneur or keep them from trying again and again. The disagreeable entrepreneur shrugs off failure and critique and moves on. Interestingly, Gladwell uses an interpretation of the David and Goliath story that has David being the d