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Entrepreneurial Spirals: Deviation-Amplifying Loops of an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Organizational Culture


Dean A. Shepherd, tel.: 812-856-5220; e-mail:


As environments become more dynamic and increasingly competitive, organizations must become more entrepreneurial. To explain how and why an organization becomes more (or less) entrepreneurial over time, we investigate the interrelationship between the psychology of individuals and the culture of organizations. To that end, we develop the notion of entrepreneurial spirals—enduring, deviation-amplifying loops—that serve to link the manager's mindset to his or her organization's culture and vice versa. We investigate how entrepreneurial spirals start, perpetuate, and stop, and detail the implications and insights suggested by entrepreneurial spirals for the relationship between managerial mindset and organizational culture.