Three Views of Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Every invention engenders opportunities for the creation of several possible economic (as well as other types of socially significant) effects. In the foregoing sections we have examined three sets of views with regard to how these effects come to be. Approaches based on the view of the market as an allocative process focus entirely on the final effects of opportunity creation, treating the processes leading to these final effects as mere detail; approaches based on the view of the market as a discovery process emphasize only the origins of the opportunity for creation, treating the final effects as inevitable products of competitive markets; and finally, approaches based on the view of the market as a creative process emphasize the decisions and actions of the agents, making both origins and final effects contingent upon those decisions and actions. In our view, if we are to deepen our understanding of entrepreneurial opportunity, we need to integrate these three approaches, emphasize contingencies rather than inevitabilities in each. As a first step in that direction, we offer the following fundamental argument for the study of the central phenomena of entrepreneurship – viz., entrepreneurial opportunities.

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Saras Sarasvathy
Nick Dew
Rama Velamuri
S. Venkataraman
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