Abstract

Researchers, policy makers and practitioners all struggle with the conundrum of why there are fewer entrepreneurs than opportunities. Entrepreneurship research has primarily looked into the role of environmental (e.g. Aldrich, 2000) or technological factors (e.g. Shane, 2001). Relatively less attention has been paid to uncovering individual-level effects to this respect. Person-centered research in entrepreneurship has investigated individual characteristics but mainly emphasizes differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs (e.g. Busenitz & Barney, 1997). Research in entrepreneurship seldom focuses on empirically investigating the individual characteristics associated with engagement in different types of entrepreneurial activities, particularly those pre-venturing. By applying a psychology lens on the notion of entrepreneurship as a process, this study addresses this gap and adds an explanation to why not all opportunities translate into entrepreneurship. Specifically, it analyzes how creativity and motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic – affect the exposure, recognition and exploitation of opportunities.

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