Recognizing Opportunities for Sustainable Development

Authors

  • Holger Patzelt,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute of Economics, Germany
      Holger Patzelt, tel.: +49 (0) 6723-69-229; e-mail: patzelt@econ.mpg.de and to Dean A. Shepherd at shepherd@indiana.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dean A. Shepherd

    Corresponding author
    1. Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
      Holger Patzelt, tel.: +49 (0) 6723-69-229; e-mail: patzelt@econ.mpg.de and to Dean A. Shepherd at shepherd@indiana.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author

Holger Patzelt, tel.: +49 (0) 6723-69-229; e-mail: patzelt@econ.mpg.de and to Dean A. Shepherd at shepherd@indiana.edu.

Abstract

Building on the entrepreneurial action and sustainable development literatures, we highlight how the current explanations of opportunity recognition, based on entrepreneurial knowledge and economic motivation, are insufficient for modeling the recognition of opportunities for sustainable development. Our model suggests that entrepreneurs are more likely to discover sustainable development opportunities the greater their knowledge of natural and communal environments become, the more they perceive that the natural and communal environment in which they live is threatened, and the greater their altruism toward others becomes. We propose that entrepreneurial knowledge plays a central role by moderating these effects.

Ancillary