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Entrepreneurial alertness in the pursuit of new opportunities

2012

Jintong Tang K. Michele(Micki) Kacmar Lowell Busenitz

The recognition and development of new opportunities are at the heart of entrepreneurship. Building from Kirzner’s (1973, 1999) work, cognition theory, and McMullen and Shepherd’s (2006) recent development, we offer a model involving three distinct elements of alertness: scanning and search, association and connection, and evaluation and judgment. We then conduct multiple studies to develop and validate a 13-item alertness scale that captures these three dimensions. Results demonstrate appropriate dimensionality, strong reliability, and content, convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity. The resultant instrument provides researchers with a valuable tool for probing the entrepreneurial opportunity development process including antecedents and outcomes.

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