Abstract

Over the recent years, the concept of effectuation has received considerable attention in literature. Building on the seminal work of Sarasvathy (2001), effectuation was introduced as a decision process of expert entrepreneurs. This process includes specific entrepreneurial heuristics, which expert entrepreneurs have applied in the uncertain contexts of creating new products, new companies or new markets. However, it has been increasingly acknowledged that the domain of entrepreneurship and hence effectuation is no longer restricted to the independent new venture creation process (see Wortman, 1987; Low & MacMillan, 1988) and that organizations – per se – can behave in entrepreneurial manners (Jennings & Lumpkin, 1989). Therefore, we advance the concept of effectuation from the individual level to a firm level representing an overarching corporate orientation. On this level, effectuation can be understood as business philosophy, which is reflected in the activities and behaviors of a firm. Based on this theoretical delineation, we conduct a scale development process in order to explore which dimensions of effectual orientation may have a positive impact on performance (in specific circumstances).

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