Abstract

Intentions are generally accepted as the single best predictor of planned behavior (Bagozzi et al., 1989). Understanding intentions is especially valuable in the case the focal phenomenon is rare, obscure, or involves unpredictable time lags, which is typical the case in entrepreneurship (MacMillan and Katz, 1992). Given the importance of entrepreneurial intentions as predictor for entrepreneurial behavior, researchers (e.g. Souitaris et al., 2007) have studied determinants of entrepreneurial intentions. Yet within entrepreneurial intentions, some entrepreneurs are content with a venture that merely survives while other entrepreneurs favor high growth ventures.

Little research has however focused on the determinants of entrepreneurs’ growth intentions. Growth creation is not trivial and requires large investments, which will not be made in case the intention to grow is absent at the time of start-up (Autio, 2005). We argue that the literature has so far neglected a potentially important driver of growth intentions, namely cognitive style. Cognitive style relates to the way an individual processes and evaluates information, solves problems, and makes decisions (Goldstein & Blackman, 1978). These processes can lead to different types of goals for their ventures, including growth intentions.

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