The Socio-Cognitive Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Ideation

Authors


Robert M. Gemmell, tel.: (404) 432-1707; e-mail: rgemmell@gsu.edu, to Richard J. Boland at boland@case.edu, and to David A. Kolb at david.kolb@case.edu.

Abstract

How do entrepreneurs obtain the creative ideas they need to develop innovative new products? We interviewed 32 technology entrepreneurs to generate a grounded theory as to how technology entrepreneurs use social behaviors, techniques, and cognitive processes to generate, validate, and refine ideas for new products, processes, or services. The results reveal a complex, cyclical, and recursive multilevel social process emphasizing active and social experimentation. Greatest ideational productivity occurs when “trusted partners” exchange and refine ideas through a form of shared cognition. The findings will be useful to researchers and practitioners interested in entrepreneurship, social creativity, and management team dynamics.

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