Abstract

Explanations for how entrepreneurs deal with uncertainty and develop their strategies can be found in two streams of literature: the entrepreneurial strategy literature and the entrepreneurial cognition literature. Recent research in these fields suggests that focusing on the individual level of the nascent entrepreneur and taking a cognition-based approach might be beneficial for understanding first-time strategy formation. Our study is concerned with one central question concerning first-time formation of a strategic mindset at the individual level. How does a strategic mindset come into existence at early stages of the entrepreneurial process? We analyze whether and how strategic mindsets come into existence focusing on three aspects: the extent of prediction orientation (Wiltbank et al., 2006; Sarasvathy, 2001), the extent to which the entrepreneur focuses on risk limitation as opposed to return maximization, i.e. the risk-return orientation (Sarasvathy et al., 1998; Sarasvathy, 2007; Dew et al., 2008; Sarasvathy, 2003), and the extent of strategic flexibility (Nicholls-Nixon, Cooper, 2000).

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