Abstract

Entrepreneurship scholars have taken considerable interest in investigating which entrepreneurial strategies are effective. While some argue that planning is beneficial under certain conditions (e.g. Gruber, 2007), others have put forth notions such as bricolage (Baker & Nelson, 2005), improvisation (Kamoche, Cunha, & Cunha, 2003; Moorman & Miner, 1998) or effectuation (Sarasvathy, 2001, 2008). Gradually, the debate on predictive vs. non-predictive strategies has become more nuanced and several authors have proposed the co-existence of both strategies.

While potentially providing a resolution to the alleged conflict between seemingly opposing strategies, co-existing strategies raise further questions. Can entrepreneurs build on their means while setting a goal and a vision for the future? Is it possible to calculate expected returns and still draw affordable loss scenarios? Are entrepreneurs leveraging unexpected contingencies but at the same time trying to avoid them? In addressing these questions, this paper explores empirically the independence of two of the effectuation constructs (Sarasvathy, 2001, 2008): prediction vs. control and means-based vs. ends-based strategies.

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