The Impact of Environment and Entrepreneurial Perceptions on Venture-Creation Efforts: Bridging the Discovery and Creation Views of Entrepreneurship

Recent literature has highlighted two conflicting theories of entrepreneurship. In the “discovery” perspective, objective environmental conditions are considered to be the source of entrepreneurial opportunities and thus drivers of subsequent entrepreneurial action. The “creation” view, in contrast, is based on entrepreneurial perceptions and socio-cognitive enactment processes. While empirical studies have separately utilized each of these perspectives, few attempts have been made to integrate insights from both theories to empirically examine the interrelationships among environmental conditions, entrepreneurial perceptions, entrepreneurial action, and outcomes. In this article, we explicate the roles that both objective environmental conditions and entrepreneurial perceptions of opportunity and resource availability play in the process of firm creation. Utilizing longitudinal data on nascent entrepreneurs, we find that as hypothesized, entrepreneurs’ opportunity perceptions mediate between objective characteristics of the environment and the entrepreneurs’ efforts to start a new venture. Contrary to our expectations, we do not find a similar mediating effect for perceived resource availability. These findings have important implications for further theory development in entrepreneurship as well as for practice and education in the field.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Yli-Renko, Helena
Year Published
Relevant Principles:
Download Attachment:
 PDF Download