Abstract

Action under uncertainty is the fundamental premise of entrepreneurship (Knight, 1921; McMullen and Shepherd, 2006). The outcomes of entrepreneurial endeavors are unknown and unknowable a priori. This uncertainty surrounding entrepreneurship has substantial implications for entrepreneurial process that has largely remained unexplored. For example, even if people form the explicit intention to engage in entrepreneurial action, most often they never do (van Gelderen et al., 2015). Therefore, a focus on nascent entrepreneurship as solely a rational evaluative process provides an incomplete understanding. Recent studies of decisions under uncertainty suggest a strong influence of the ‘hot’ decision system, which is uninhibited, rapid, and intuitive (Evans, 2008; Kahneman, 2011).

Building on the dual process theory of decision making and reasoning (Evans, 2003), we propose that creativity and disinhibition are two important traits that reply heavily on the ‘hot’ system and thus having multiple influences on the entrepreneurial process. Creative ‘outside-the-box’ thinking enhances opportunity discovery and exploitation, which facilitates entrepreneurial action. Likewise, disinhibition may represent a psychological resource because disinhibited people act without much deliberative consideration of consequences, and enjoy the pursuit of risky activities, without experiencing much anxiety (e.g., Dindo et al., 2009; Whiteside & Lynam, 2001). These characteristics of disinhibition could also facilitate entrepreneurial action.

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