Abstract

If entrepreneurship is concerned with the discovery and exploitation of profitable opportunities, and discovery occurs when someone looks at a situation and makes a conjecture that a set of resources is not put to its best use, by definition, not all parties value each combination of resources identically. Deciding whether to pursue an opportunity must then depend upon the actual value attached to the opportunity by the individual. Researchers have looked into the cognitive differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs with the assumption that some people become entrepreneurs, not because they have distinct personality traits but, because they perceive situations differently than others (Busenitz & Barney, 1997; Palich & Bagby, 1995). Cognitive biases may affect how the entrepreneur values opportunities and perceives risk (Palich et al., 1995). While opportunity cost is well recognized in the economic literature, opportunity value, or the perceived tangible and intangible benefits derived from the pursuit of a new opportunity, has not been adequately addressed.

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