The Opportunity Recognition Process of Discoveries and Social Creations in Entrepreneurial Teams A Structurationist Approach to the Opportunity Recognition Process
Opportunity recognition characterizes the development process from initial business idea, which derives from either discovery or social creation, to a viable business model. Previous research has investigated opportunity recognition largely in either cognitive-individualist or in social-constructionist dimensions with input-output approaches, leading to inconsistent results through differing assumptions. Therefore, this study aims at examining opportunity recognition as a process in the lens of Structuration Theory, enabling an interdisciplinary analysis between cognitive realms of agency and the social construction of opportunities. The study is designed as an abductive, multi-case study based on a proposed Structurationist Model of Opportunity Recognition (SMOR). The results show that entrepreneurial teams recognize discoveries in separate business and product development streams and socially created opportunities in interdisciplinary teams. Entrepreneurial teams recognizing discoveries are ineffective in reconciling product and business development to create product-market fits, but more effective in innovating. In contrast, entrepreneurial teams creating opportunities socially are ineffective in innovating, but effective in reconciling product and business development. Furthermore, the study finds that (i) prior knowledge supports the opportunity recognition process but only when the entrepreneurial team is aware of its knowledge-related assumptions, (ii) that the team members shall unify empathetic, hard-working, extroverted, and cooperative personalities, and (iii) that the engagement with the opportunity-related external environment, interdisciplinary collaborations, and in-depth projects foster the effectiveness of opportunity recognition process.
MSc in Management