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          Entrepreneur behaviors, opportunity recognition, and the origins of innovative ventures



          This study traces the origins of innovative strategies by examining the attributes of โ€˜innovative entrepreneurs.โ€™ In an inductive grounded theory study of innovative entrepreneurs, we develop a theory that innovative entrepreneurs differ from executives on four behavioral patterns through which they acquire information: (1) questioning; (2) observing; (3) experimenting; and (4) idea networking. We develop operational measures of each of these behaviors and find significant differences between innovative entrepreneurs and executives in a large sample survey of 72 successful and unsuccessful innovative entrepreneurs and 310 executives. Drawing on network theory, we develop a theory of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition that explains why these behaviors increase the probability of generating an idea for an innovative venture. We contend that oneโ€™s ability to generate novel ideas for innovative new businesses is a function of oneโ€™s behaviors that trigger cognitive processes to produce novel business ideas. We also posit that innovative entrepreneurs are less susceptible to the status quo bias and engage in these information-seeking behaviors with a motivation to change the status quo. Copyright ยฉ 2009 Strategic Management Society.

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