Abstract

Entrepreneurship - a milieu of uncertainty-related research - offers a heuristic known as effectuation, used by expert entrepreneurs to take action. Especially in the effectual problem space which is characterized by knightian uncertainty, goal ambiguity and isotropy effectuation helps to control where prediction is not possible (Sarasvathy, 2008). Such situations are well known among corporate entrepreneurs who know how to employ causal strategies profitably but often lack strategies for complexity. This raises the question of how corporate entrepreneurs handle complexity strategically. This paper sheds light on corporate entrepreneurs’ answers to complexity by classifying two dimensions: traditional planning-based project management heuristics known as ‘causation’ and heuristics for managerial behavior under complexity as described by ‘effectuation’ (Sarasvathy, 2001; Wiltbank et al., 2006). By developing links with the “Patterns of Complexity” (Geraldi and Albrech, 2007; Müller et al., 2012) we aim to fill this research gap.

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