The virtuous cycle of discovery and creation of entrepreneurial opportunities


  • Shaker A. Zahra

    Corresponding author
    1. Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
    • Department of Strategic Management and Organization and Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 321 19th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, U.S.A.
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Researchers have debated whether entrepreneurial opportunities are discovered or created. However, they have often overlooked the importance of the contextual variables that stimulate, shape, and define the entrepreneurial act. This article focuses on entrepreneurial activities within technology-based established companies and shows how and why certain contexts are more conducive for discovery, while others promote the discovery and creation of opportunities. The article suggests a virtuous and dynamic cycle where discovery enriches creation which, in turn, fosters the discovery of new opportunities. The focus on the context and key features of entrepreneurial search contributes to the behavioral theory of and the debate on the origins of opportunities. Copyright © 2008 Strategic Management Society.