How Great Entrepreneurs Think
Sarasvathy concluded that master entrepreneurs rely on what she calls effectual reasoning. Brilliant improvisers, the entrepreneurs don’t start out with concrete goals. Instead, they constantly assess how to use their personal strengths and whatever resources they have at hand to develop goals on the fly, while creatively reacting to contingencies. By contrast, corporate executives—those in the study group were also enormously successful in their chosen field—use causal reasoning. They set a goal and diligently seek the best ways to achieve it.
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Paul Higgins: There is always a problem about asking people how they make decisions because the responses they give are based on their conscious rational processes. A research process like the one described here goes part way towards avoiding that problem although talking about what they would do in a case study does miss out on the pressures and emotions of living the day to day.