Abstract

This study investigates new venture teams concerning the performance impact of a core component of entrepreneurial decision-making: an orientation to available means rather than to predetermined goals. We argue that ventures whose entrepreneurial teams adopt a means orientation logic fulfill several conditions identified by the resource-based view that help attain higher performance. We then propose that the effects of such logic vary with two characteristics of the venture team: 1) the beliefs that the team holds about the opportunity it faces; and 2) the control activities undertaken by the entrepreneurial team. Specifically, we argue that a strong opportunity recognition belief, i.e. the belief that a set of ideas and conditions of things are favorable to the achievement of possible valuable ends, makes a focus on extant means less valuable. We also argue that intrusive control of the behavior of organizational members negates certain advantages of effectuation, such as the adaptability that is built into fuzzy goals, while duplicating the control function that a focus on means already performs.

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