Abstract

The question why some individuals and not others exploit entrepreneurial opportunities is still not answered. There is consensus that the nature of opportunity plays a key part in the pre-entrepreneurial decision-making process (e. g. Lang-von Wins 2004, Phan et al. 2002) which contains the recognition, the evaluation and the exploitation of an entrepreneurial opportunity (Shane and Venkataraman 2000). Some researchers (e. g. Busenitz and Lau 1996, Mitchell et al. 2000) argue that the subjective, mental processes in individuals play a crucial role in the pre-entrepreneurial process and for the decision to exploit an opportunity. Therefore, this study seeks to explore individuals’ different perceptions of entrepreneurial opportunities and the role of cognitive appraisals and affective states in this perception-shaping process in order to fill the gap of the ‘Individual-Opportunity-Nexus’ (Shane 2003).

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