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Entrepreneurial expertise and the use of control

2015

Saras Sarasvathy Nick Dew Stuart Read Rob Wiltbank

Abstract Significant evidence has accumulated describing the importance of expertise. As this knowledge is extended, it is critical to understand when expertise matters and how. We unpack expertise in entrepreneurial decision making by presenting 412 founder/entrepreneur subjects with a unique tool involving four scenarios so we can measure an element of theoretical relevance to expertise in the entrepreneurial domain, efficacy at applying control and prediction strategies to situations which vary in environmental predictability and controllability. Results show that entrepreneurial expertise yields significant decision-making improvements in the situational use of control strategies – those strategies conceptually associated with uncertain new ventures, products and markets.

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