Abstract

There is now a general understanding that opportunities are not discovered or created in their final form, but evolve over time (Venkataraman, 1997; Ardichvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 2003; Dimov, 2007). However, there is still little research as to how opportunities develop, which contributes to a gap in knowledge about why some entrepreneurs progress to fully develop their opportunities while others stop along the way, the individual and social factors that influence which entrepreneurs proceed and which entrepreneurs stop, and the effect of the development process on the refinement of the opportunities themselves (Dimov, 2007). Dynamic social cognitive theories (e.g. Bandura 1986; Smith & Semin, 2004) suggest that entrepreneurial cognition and the resulting entrepreneurial behavior like opportunity development is the result of ongoing interaction between the entrepreneur’s characteristics and the social context. To increase knowledge about opportunity development, this research seeks to understand how the entrepreneur’s characteristics interact with structured, expert social exchanges to impact opportunity development.

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