Abstract

The effectuation theory differentiates two behavioral logics: causation, assuming that means are selected to attain goals, and effectuation, assuming that goals are created based upon available means (Sarasvathy, 2001).

Prior research suggests that ventures are more likely to use effectuation under conditions of uncertainty (Sarasvathy, 2008). However, there exist some inconsistencies about how types of uncertainty are associated with the two behavior logics (McKelvie et al., 2011; Milliken, 1987). For example, whereas some scholars suggest that technology uncertainty (state uncertainty) impacts ventures’ choice of effectuation and causation (Sarasvathy, 2001), others suggests that entrepreneurs’ inability to predict how to respond to stakeholders (response uncertainty) influences such choice (Reymen et al., 2015). One possible explanation for the inconsistent findings could originate from a lack of process study about how types of uncertainty co-evolve with behavior logics over time (McMullen and Dimov, 2013). This paper investigates (i) how effectuation and causation evolve, and (ii) what is the role of uncertainty in this evolution?

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