Abstract

Theories about entrepreneurial discovery are important to entrepreneurship research. However, the dominant paradigm underlying those theories commonly assumes opportunities form based on either deliberate search or serendipitous discovery (Alvarez & Barney, 2007; Gaglio & Katz, 2001). The former emphasizes creative action, search tactics, information processing, traits, and individual affect (Fiet, 2007). The latter holds that opportunities exist out there and are surprising to alert entrepreneurs because they are unanticipated (Shane, 2000). This dichotomy has evolved into a unidimensional continuum corresponding to the subjective and objective aspects of opportunities (Alsos & Kaikkonen, 2005; McMullan & Shepherd, 2006). The paradigmatic approach erects barriers to entrepreneurial discovery theory development and fuels debates over how opportunities form. Our paper addresses this issue and contributes a critique and extension of the current view.

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