Get access

Antecedents of Business Opportunity Identification and Innovation: Investigating the Interplay of Information Processing and Information Acquisition


  • This research was partially supported by the National University of Singapore (R-317-000-084-133) and by the National University of Singapore Academic Research Fund (AcRF) (R-317-000-095-112). We would like to thank the Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum (WECBOF) for the fruitful cooperation and their support of this study. Special thanks go to Lesley Africa and Glenda Sampson. Britta Kappel gratefully acknowledges the support provided by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes.


Building on conceptual frameworks of entrepreneurial discovery, we argue that active information search compensates for a lack of entrepreneurial experience and enhances the effects of divergent thinking and general mental ability (GMA) on opportunity identification. We sampled 100 business owners in South Africa. Results confirmed the hypothesised moderating effects of active information search on the relationships of entrepreneurial experience and divergent thinking on opportunity identification. Furthermore, we found direct effects of opportunity identification and conditional indirect effects of divergent thinking on innovativeness of product/service innovations. Our findings suggest that a joint examination of entrepreneurial experience and divergent thinking with active information search helps to better understand opportunity identification.