Entrepreneurship scholars have suggested different processes by which entrepreneurs recognize opportunities, including alertness, systematic search, effectuation, as well as cognition and creative processes. They suggest that regardless of the process, opportunities arise from various changes. Scholars also describe a broad scope of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required for entrepreneurs to successfully recognize opportunities.

If opportunities arise from change, then recognition behaviors are in reaction to those changes. Regarding human ability, psychologists Lubinski and Dawis (1992) suggest that “life is a series of actions and reactions to varying degrees of novelty in a variety of contexts…[and] because future events often share important features with past circumstances, people are able to adapt [behaviors] to new situations - if they have profited from their experience” so that they are more effective and efficient. Further, behaviors are accomplished by using KSAs at some proficiency level.