Abstract

Entrepreneurship has been described as a process of learning. Therefore, the way in which entrepreneurs learn and form expert scripts that are expected to influence venture performance is worthy of theoretical and empirical examination. Hence, this study seeks to empirically test the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: Expert scripts affect venture performance
Hypothesis 2: Learning modes affect expert scripts.
Hypothesis 3: Learning modes moderate the relationship between expert scripts and venture performance.

I argue that expert scripts (i.e. action-based knowledge structures) reflect improved information-processing capabilities of entrepreneurs. Those scripts include the following types: (1) arrangements scripts - mental maps about resources, networks and assets; (2) willingness scripts - mental maps that support commitment to and receptivity of a particular action and (3) ability scripts - knowledge structures to support capabilities, skills and attitudes. Professional and novice entrepreneurs are expected to have differences in their scripts, which lead to venture creation and subsequent performance. While these expert scripts are expected to offer meaningful differences for new venture performance, little is known about how they are formed. In ways yet explored, we expect that the differences in the way entrepreneurs learn will be associated with the formation of expert scripts. This novel approach may offer insights into the way in which learning modes affect the scripts that entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs form.Finally, I argue that the way in which entrepreneurs learn matter for the relationship between expert scripts and venture performance. For instance, some learning styles lend themselves more to specific situations/problems (converger), creativity (diverger), theories (assimilator) and new experiences (accommodators). Accommodators may be better suited for entrepreneurship.

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