Effectuation & newness : an intertwined relationship?

Garonne, Christophe & Davidsson, Per (2009) Effectuation & newness : an intertwined relationship? In Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), June 4-6, 2009, Boston, USA. (Unpublished)

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Principal topic: Effectuation theory suggests that entrepreneurs develop their new ventures in an iterative way by selecting possibilities through flexibility and interactions with the market; a focus on affordability of loss rather than maximal return on the capital invested, and the development of pre-commitments and alliances from stakeholders (Sarasvathy, 2001, 2008; Sarasvathy et al., 2005, 2006). In contrast, causation may be described as a rationalistic reasoning method to create a company. After a comprehensive market analysis to discover opportunities, the entrepreneur will select the alternative with the higher expected return and implement it through the use of a business plan. However, little is known about the consequences of following either of these two processes. One aspect that remains unclear is the relationship between newness and effectuation. On one hand it can be argued that the combination of a means-centered, interactive (through pre-commitments and alliances with stakeholders from the early phases of the venture creation) and open-minded process (through flexibility of exploiting contingencies) should encourage and facilitate the development of innovative solutions. On the other hand, having a close relationship with their “future first customers” and focussing too much on the resources and knowledge already within the firm may be a constraint that is not conducive to innovation, or at least not to a radical innovation. While it has been suggested that effectuation strategy is more likely to be used by innovative entrepreneurs (Sarasvathy, 2001), this hypothesis has not been demonstrated yet (Sarasvathy, 2001).

Method: In our attempt to capture newness in its different aspects we have considered the following four domains where newness may happen: new product/service; new method for promotion and sales; new production methods/sourcing; market creation. We identified how effectuation may be differently associated with these four domains of newness. To test our four sets of hypotheses a dataset of 1329 firms (702 nascent and 627 young firms) randomly selected in Australia was examined through ANOVA Tukey HSD Test.

Results and Implications: Results indicate the existence of a curvilinear relationship between effectuation and newness where low and high levels of newness are associated with low level of effectuation while medium level of newness is associated with high level of effectuation. Implications for academia, practitioners and policy makers are also discussed.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 26407
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: effectuation, newness, entrepreneurs
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2009 02:33
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2012 09:48

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