Small firms are vital for job creation, innovation and the creation of social value worldwide. Studying the specific method entrepreneurs and small firms use to create entrepreneurial artefacts such as new opportunities, markets, firms and other initiatives present interesting possibilities for research, education and practice. Thus the purpose of this paper is to determine the underlying entrepreneurial mechanism small firm owner/managers to make new venture decisions under uncertain conditions. A think aloud protocol analysis of 13 small firms from the touris, information technology and retail industry was conducted thematically analysed to identify the underlying mechanisms used when making product, market and start0up decisions in a new venture creation situation. Qualitative, thematic analysis of the data showed three main entrepreneurial mechanisms, namely effectuation, causation and improvisation. Specifically improvisation was used simultaneously when effectual and causal mechanisms were used. This study has pedagogical and practical implications for entrepreneurship as a design science.
2013 Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange ACERE, Brisbane, Australia 6-8 February 2013
Proceedings of the 2013 Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange ACERE / Per Davidson (ed): pp.1-16