Abstract

Thrashing refers to any situation in which multiple demands are competing for the same resource, resulting in reduced performance caused by the need to excessively swap information and actions.

Entrepreneurs, bounded rationally and limited cognitively, are often characterized as busy, overloaded, and driven, wearing many hats, multitasking, and in constant motion or thought. Information overload and excessive workload demands during an entrepreneurial effort results in the need to simultaneously address, maintain, and manage priorities, resources, efforts, and loci of attention. Physical and cognitive limitations – our limited ability to parallel process – require that the entrepreneur swap between tasks and loci of attention. Thrashing appropriately describes the condition that occurs when the entrepreneur commits excessive resources to the swapping and juggling of information, attention, and action, such that the completion of important tasks is significantly hindered.

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