Risk and rationality in entrepreneurial processes


  • Kent D. Miller

    Corresponding author
    1. The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A.
    • The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1122, U.S.A.
    Search for more papers by this author


This study begins with a historical overview of the connection between risk and rationality. It then broadens beyond this historical trajectory by taking entrepreneurship as a point of departure for understanding risk and rationality. Drawing from the research of Littlechild (1986), Buchanan and Vanberg (1991), and Sarasvathy et al. (2003), this study considers three entrepreneurial processes: opportunity recognition, opportunity discovery, and opportunity creation. Associated with each of these processes are unique conceptualizations of risk and rationality, reflected in distinct research streams. The final section of the study considers implications of the process-contingent nature of risk and rationality, and motivates a broadening of the research agenda from entrepreneurial decision making to practices. Copyright © 2007 Strategic Management Society