Toward a process view of entrepreneurial action : an empirical investigation of activities, mechanisms and outcomes.


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Entrepreneurial action is of keen interest to entrepreneurship scholars, and research on the topic centers on studying the different dynamics of entrepreneurial action as the underlying mechanism for engagement in the entrepreneurial process. This dissertation seeks to understand the underlying mechanism of enterprising activities in the formation process of entrepreneurial action. Building on the existing opportunity evaluation literature, I theorize a process framework with the argument that the event-based enterprising activities and the formation of entrepreneurial action processes are interrelated. With that, the process of entrepreneurial action formation consists of many types of enterprising activities, and over time, these enterprising activities accumulate into the market entry as an entrepreneurial action outcome. I test the theoretical framework in two studies. In the first study, I use a Kauffman Firm Survey, eight years of longitudinal data to test the direct effect of each type of activity, and the moderation effect of venture age on the likelihood of market entry as a proxy for the outcome of entrepreneurial action process. In the second study, using the concept regulatory focus, I study the cognitive mechanism of the entrepreneurial action and use a free-choice experiment to further explore the underlying cognitive mechanism that drives one’s choice for enterprising activities, and validate the causal relationship between enterprising activities and market entry as a proxy for entrepreneurial action outcome.



Entrepreneurial action. Entrepreneurial process. Opportunity. Market entry.