Explainnation the logic of entrepreneurs' decision making in the entrepreneurship ecosystem

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Business Creation, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Business Creation, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Management, Graduate School of Management and Economics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Entrepreneurs rely on causation, effectuation, and bricolage behaviors to achieve their goals in different situations. Effectuation is a kind of decision-making logic that emphasizes control rather than anticipation. Causation focuses goal setting and planning and foresight. Bricolage is a resource-seeking behavior that allows entrepreneurs to cope with resource constraints. These three behaviors are used simultaneously according to the situation and circumstances. However, in studies researchers focus more on individual level factors and less on environmental factors, context and ecosystem. In fact, research has not paid attention to the interaction of individual, environment, context and ecosystem in entrepreneurial decision making. In this research, as qualitative research use the template-based case-study method in two independent sample groups, twenty interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs located in science and technology parks of Tehran, Sharif and Beheshti universities and Sharif Innovation District. The results showed that entrepreneurs tend to choose different decision approaches due to different access to resources. Entrepreneurs in the parks have more causation behaviors due to the need to comply with the requirements and entrepreneurs in Sharif Innovation District behave more effectuation and bricolage due to less need to follow formal and written rules. Finally, a proposition has been explained.


 داوری، علی، باقرصاد، وجیهه و سفیدبری، لیلا(1396) عوامل اکوسیستم کارآفرینی ایران بر اساس مدل آیزنبرگ، توسعه کارآفرینی، دوره 10 ش1، صص100-120.
غلامحسین حسینی نیا؛ علی داوری؛ وجیه باقرصاد؛ ترانه فرخ منش (1400) علّیت، اثرسازی و عملکرد کسب و کار: یک رویکرد فازی، توسعه کارآفرینی، دوره14 ش 1، صص21-40.
Alzamora-Ruiz, J., del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes, M., & Martinez-Fiestas, M. (2021). Together or separately? Direct and synergistic effects of Effectuation and Causation on innovation in technology-based SMEs. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 17(4), 1917–1943
An, W., Rüling, C. C., Zheng, X., & Zhang, J. (2020). Configurations of effectuation, causation, and bricolage: implications for firm growth paths. Small Business Economics, 54(3), 843–864.
Arvidsson, H. G. S., & Coudounaris, D. N. (2020). Effectuation versus causation: A case study of an IT recruitment firm. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 24(4), 1–13.
Audretsch, D. B., & Link, A. N. (2019). Embracing an entrepreneurial ecosystem: an analysis of the governance of research joint ventures. Small Business Economics, 52(2), 429–436.
Baker, T., & Nelson, R. E. (2005). Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial bricolage. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(3), 329–366.
Bhawe, N., & Zahra, S. A. (2019). Inducing heterogeneity in local entrepreneurial ecosystems: the role of MNEs. Small Business Economics, 52(2), 437–454.
Brettel, M., Mauer, R., Engelen, A., & Küpper, D. (2012). Corporate effectuation: Entrepreneurial action and its impact on R&D project performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2), 167–184.
Chandler, G. N., DeTienne, D. R., McKelvie, A., & Mumford, T. V. (2011). Causation and effectuation processes: A validation study. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3), 375–390.
Cowden, B., Karami, M., Tang, J., & Ye, W. (2022). The spectrum of perceived uncertainty and entrepreneurial orientation : Impacts on effectuation The spectrum of perceived uncertainty and entrepreneurial orientation : Impacts on effectuation. Journal of Small Business Management, 00(00), 1–34.
Crupi, A., Liu, S., & Liu, W. (2022). The top‐down pattern of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Bricolage and agility in response to COVID‐19: cases from China. R&D Management, 52(2), 313-330.
Daniel, E. M., Di Domenico, M. L., & Sharma, S. (2015). Effectuation and home-based online business entrepreneurs. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 33(8), 799–823.
Davidsson, P., Baker, T., & Senyard, J. M. (2017). A measure of entrepreneurial bricolage behavior. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 23(1), 114–135.
Deligianni, I., Sapouna, P., Voudouris, I., & Lioukas, S. (2022). An effectual approach to innovation for new ventures: The role of entrepreneur’s prior start-up experience. Journal of Small Business Management, 60(1), 146–177.
Elfring, T., & Hulsink, W. (2007). Networking by entrepreneurs: Patterns of tie-formation in emerging organizations. Organization Studies, 28(12), 1849–1872.
Feldman, M. P. (2001). The entrepreneurial event revisited: firm formation in a regional context. Industrial and Corporate Change, 10(4), 861–891.
Fisher, G. (2012). Effectuation, causation, and bricolage: A behavioral comparison of emerging theories in entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 36(5), 1019–1051.
Frese, T., Geiger, I., & Dost, F. (2020). An empirical investigation of determinants of effectual and causal decision logics in online and high-tech start-up firms. Small Business Economics, 54(3), 641–664.
Hauser, A., Eggers, F., & Güldenberg, S. (2020). Strategic decision-making in SMEs: effectuation, causation, and the absence of strategy. Small Business Economics, 54(3), 775–790.
Hindle, K., & Senderovitz, M. (2010). Unifying the three principal contending approaches to explaining early-stage entrepreneurial decision-making and behavior. 2010 BCERC Proceedings, 1–15.
Hubner, S., Most, F., Wirtz, J., & Auer, C. (2021). Narratives in entrepreneurial ecosystems: drivers of effectuation versus causation. Small Business Economics, 59(0123456789), 211–242.
Keating, A., Geiger, S., & Mcloughlin, D. (2014). Riding the practice waves: Social resourcing practices during new venture development. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 38(5), 1207–1235.
Laine, I., & Galkina, T. (2017). The interplay of effectuation and causation in decision making: Russian SMEs under institutional uncertainty. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 13(3), 905–941.
Langley, A. (1999). Strategies for Theorizing from Process DataLangley, A. (1999). Strategies for Theorizing from Process Data. The Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 691. doi:10.2307/259349. The Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 691–710.
Laskovaia, A., Shirokova, G., & Morris, M. H. (2017). National culture, effectuation, and new venture performance: global evidence from student entrepreneurs. Small Business Economics, 49(3), 687–709.
Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966). The savage mind, Chicago (The University of Chicago Press) 1966.
Liu, W., Kwong, C. C. Y., Kim, Y. A., & Liu, H. (2021). The more the better vs. less is more: Strategic alliances, bricolage and social performance in social enterprises. Journal of Business Research, 137(August), 128–142.
Markowska, M., Grichnik, D., Brinckmann, J., & Kapsa, D. (2019). Strategic orientations of nascent entrepreneurs: antecedents of prediction and risk orientation. Small Business Economics, 53(4), 859–878.
Reymen, I., Berends, H., Oudehand, R., & Stultiëns, R. (2017). Decision making for business model development: a process study of effectuation and causation in new technology-based ventures. R and D Management, 47(4), 595–606.
Roundy, P. T., & Fayard, D. (2019). Dynamic Capabilities and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: The Micro-Foundations of Regional Entrepreneurship. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 28(1), 94–120.
Sarasvathy, S. (2001). Causation and Effectuation : Toward a Theoretical Shift from Economic Inevitability to Entrepreneurial Contingency Authors ( s ): Saras D . Sarasvathy Source : The Academy of Management Review , Vol . 26 , No . 2 ( Apr ., 2001 ), pp . 243-263 Published by. The Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243–263.
Sarasvathy, S. D. (2008). Effectuation: elements ofentrepreneurial expertise. In Edward Elgar publishing.
Scheidgen, K. (2021). Degrees of integration: how a fragmented entrepreneurial ecosystem promotes different types of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 33(1–2), 54–79.
Servantie, V., & Hlady-Rispal, M. (2022). Born globals’ decision-making logics during their entrepreneurial process. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 20(2), 255–281.
Servantie, V., & Rispal, M. H. (2018). Bricolage, effectuation, and causation shifts over time in the context of social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 30(3–4), 310–335.
Shirokova, G., Osiyevskyy, O., Laskovaia, A., & MahdaviMazdeh, H. (2020). Navigating the emerging market context: Performance implications of effectuation and causation for small and medium enterprises during adverse economic conditions in Russia. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 14(3), 470–500.
Smolka, K. M., Verheul, I., Burmeister–Lamp, K., Heugens, P. P. M. A. R., Burmeister-Lamp, K., & Heugens, P. P. M. A. R. (2018). Get it together! Synergistic effects of causal and effectual decision-making logics on venture performance. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 42(4), 571–604.
Spigel, B. (2017). The Relational Organization of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 41(1), 49–72.
Spigel, B., & Harrison, R. (2018). Toward a process theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(1), 151–168.
Taghvaee, S., & Talebi, K. (2022). Market orientation in uncertain environments: The enabling role of effectuation orientation in new product development. European Management Journal. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2022.01.005
Wu, L., Liu, H., & Zhang, J. (2022). How does bricolage release the tensions in organisational ambidexterity for resource-constrained SMEs? A moderated mediation framework. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2022.2054317
Wurth, B., Stam, E., & Spigel, B. (2021). Toward an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Research Program. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 46(3), 729–778. https://doi.org/10.1177/1042258721998948
Yu, X., Tao, Y., Tao, X., Xia, F., Li, Y., Jun, M., Ariyesti, F. R., Ali, S., & Xiaobao, P. (2018). Managing uncertainty in emerging economies: The interaction effects between causation and effectuation on firm performance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135(February 2017), 121–131.