Abstract

Contemporary definitions of entrepreneurship tend to center around the pursuit of an opportunity (eg: Brazael, 1999; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000; Venkataraman, 1997). In fact, Howard Stevenson (1983) conceptualized corporate entrepreneurship as a management approach for the pursuit and exploitation of an opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled by the firm. That opportunity-based conceptualization of entrepreneurship echoed the classical definitions such as Kirzner’s (1973) “alertness to opportunity”. Entrepreneurial management consequently may be seen as a ‘mode of management’ and consequently, an organization is entrepreneurial, when its management acts entrepreneurially (Stevenson and Jarillo, 1990:25). Despite its relatively old conceptualization, the opportunity-based entrepreneurship research is still lacks solid, testable theory (Sexton and Landström, 2000).

The purpose of our study is to fill the gap identified in the literature through empirically testing the behavior of Stevenson’s concept of opportunity seeking manager on a large sample of firms. Consequently, the central question of our research is what can we learn about entrepreneurial opportunity seeking behavior that has application to professional management?

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