خلاقیت در فرایند شناسایی فرصت و اثر تعدیل تنوع اطلاعات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2274||2012||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12470 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 27, Issue 5, September 2012, Pages 559–576
We employ two study designs for a more detailed examination of creativity in the opportunity identification process. We employ a correlational field study to test the hypothesis that divergent thinking affects venture growth through business idea generation. We use an experimental design to test the hypothesis that diversity of information moderates the effect of divergent thinking on business idea generation. Analyses based on 98 business owners across both study designs supported our hypotheses. Combining the findings from both designs points to boundary conditions of theories suggesting constraining information; this may weaken the indirect effect of divergent thinking on venture growth.
Entrepreneurship is defined as identifying and exploiting opportunities and it can be conceptualized along the entrepreneurial process which proceeds from identifying opportunities to achieving venture growth (Baron, 2007a and Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). Opportunity identification implies that entrepreneurs use creative processes to perceive new ideas and to put them into action (Dimov, 2007). One would assume that creativity is a factor that has been extensively researched in an area that focuses on identifying new opportunities. However, this is not the case and the existing empirical findings are mixed or non-conclusive. DeTienne and Chandler (2004) showed that creativity is positively related to opportunity identification while Hansen et al. (2011) found only partial support for their hypothesis that creativity underlies opportunity identification. The findings by Heunks (1998) even suggest that creativity does not affect opportunity identification and exploitation. Dimov (2007) argued that the mixed findings are due to a conceptual collapse of different entrepreneurial success measures such as business ideas, business opportunities, and venture growth, which scholars have attempted to relate to creativity. The entrepreneurial process, however, is complex, involving several steps which necessitates a more detailed theoretical analysis of why creativity should be conducive to entrepreneurial success (Dimov, 2007). Similarly, Zhou (2008) noted recently that a “more explicit and focused research attention on creativity […] is critical for understanding and promoting entrepreneurship” (p. 2). Creativity can be defined as the generation of novel and useful ideas (Hennessey and Amabile, 2010 and Runco, 2004). Creativity is best understood as an iterative process of divergent and convergent thinking to generate, evaluate, refine, and eventually come up with a creative idea (Basadur et al., 1982, Brophy, 1998, Mumford et al., 1991 and Ward et al., 1999). A systematic examination of creativity in the entrepreneurial process would thus require disentangling the different stages of both the creative process and the entrepreneurial process. We contribute to a more detailed examination of creativity in the entrepreneurial process by focusing on business owners’ divergent thinking and its function for generating business ideas and venture growth (see Fig. 1, Panel A). Specifically, we focus on divergent thinking because of its importance in the first stage of the creative process in which initial ideas are produced (Basadur et al., 1982 and Ward et al., 1999). We focus on business ideas and venture growth because business ideas are precursors of business opportunities and constitute the starting point of the entrepreneurial process which may eventually lead to higher venture growth (Dimov, 2007 and Locke and Baum, 2007).Furthermore, we also contribute to the literature that emphasizes the importance of taking an interactionist approach and investigating contextual factors that enhance or inhibit the positive effect of divergent thinking in the entrepreneurial process (Zhou, 2008). In general, entrepreneurship scholars have noted that it is important to extend current perspectives that mostly focus on personal factors and to combine personal and contextual factors in theoretical models aiming to explain entrepreneurial success (e.g., Baron et al., 2007). Recently, research adopted such an interactionist perspective and provided evidence for the superior predictive validity of interactionist models. For example, Brigham and colleagues (Brigham and De Castro, 2003 and Brigham et al., 2007) examined how a fit or misfit between entrepreneurs’ cognitive style and organizational characteristics such as formalization and specialization predicted entrepreneurs’ exit behavior. Other studies that adopted an interactionist perspective examined how the economic environment, in terms of environmental dynamism, influenced the relationship between CEOs’ personal characteristics and venture performance (Ensley et al., 2006, Hmieleski and Baron, 2009 and Hmieleski and Ensley, 2007). In our study, we take an interactionist perspective to investigate the interplay between business owners’ divergent thinking and type of information (diverse versus constrained) for opportunity identification. Investigating the interplay between divergent thinking and type of information is important to broaden current theoretical perspectives on the positive and negative function of type of information for opportunity identification. From the dominant perspective in the entrepreneurship literature it follows that a constrained, systematic search for information from a limited number of domains most clearly related to entrepreneurs' prior knowledge should increase the chances of identifying business opportunities (Fiet, 2007, Fiet and Patel, 2008, Fiet et al., 2005 and Patel and Fiet, 2009). This perspective is based on theories emphasizing the importance of prior knowledge for opportunity identification (Fiet, 2002 and Shane, 2000). However, this perspective contradicts in part research from the creativity literature which has shown that focusing too much on one's domain can become a barrier that reduces people's performance in generating novel and original ideas (Simonton, 2003, Ward, 2004 and Wiley, 1998). Rather, a high degree of diverse information should be related to novel and original ideas even if this information goes beyond one's domain of expertise and prior knowledge (Mumford et al., 1996). The creativity literature also acknowledges the importance of constrained information, for example, at evaluation stages of the creative process (Brown et al., 1998 and Mumford et al., 1996). However, at initial stages, diverse information should help in generating a pool of original ideas that forms the input for subsequent steps of evaluation and refinement (Mumford and Gustafson, 1988, Mumford et al., 1996 and Santanen et al., 2004). We argue that a more detailed theoretical conception is necessary to better understand the beneficial or detrimental effects of constrained versus diverse information in the opportunity identification process. As suggested by the creativity literature, it is important to distinguish between the different stages of the creative process; depending on the stage, the different types of information may have beneficial or detrimental effects for people's creative achievements. However, we argue that, also within a particular stage, a more detailed perspective going beyond simple main effects is required. In our study, we focus on the first stage of the creative process in which initial business ideas are generated. In line with Zhou (2008), we suggest that following an interactionist approach, taking into account personal and contextual factors, is useful for developing a more comprehensive theoretical model explaining business idea generation (see Fig. 1, Panel B). Specifically, we hypothesize that constrained information may restrict business owners high in divergent thinking because constrained information directs their thinking to a specific domain limiting the number of domains they would usually draw on to generate ideas. The detrimental effects of constrained information should be less pronounced for business owners low in divergent thinking because they generally lack the cognitive capacities to generate numerous, original ideas. Integrating divergent thinking and type of information into one theoretical model of business idea generation is in line with a cognitive perspective on entrepreneurship emphasizing that information and cognitive capacities to process the information are both needed for opportunity identification (Mitchell et al., 2002 and Mitchell et al., 2007). Thus, a joint investigation of the two factors should lead to a better understanding of the opportunity identification process; however, to our knowledge, there is as yet no research on entrepreneurship adopting such an interactionist perspective.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Combining the findings from our correlational field study with the experimental findings offers some practical implications for current and future business owners/managers. Business owners/managers who generate more original ideas are more successful in terms of venture growth. At the same time, we were able to change their levels of business idea generation by giving them constrained or diverse information. This leads to the conclusion that business owners/managers high in divergent thinking may enhance their venture growth through the generation of original business ideas by exposing themselves to diverse information. In contrast, if they expose themselves only to constrained information, they should generate less original business ideas which may eventually lead to lower growth rates. People's individual levels of divergent thinking are relatively stable (Guilford, 1950 and McCrae et al., 1987). Thus, it is possible to assess and inform business owners about their levels of divergent thinking to avoid potential mismatches between their levels of divergent thinking and the type of information they seek to generate business ideas. Our study shows that it is important to consider between-person differences among current and future business owners/managers when giving recommendations regarding the type of information that optimizes the chances of identifying business opportunities. A constrained search may have some advantages (cf. Fiet, 2002), but it may also restrict the positive effects of divergent thinking on generating multiple and original business ideas. Current and future business owners/managers could expand their considerations sets depending on their individual levels of divergent thinking. Business owners/mangers high on divergent thinking could actively seek out environments that provide more diverse information. Actively seeking environments or sources that provide diverse information should avoid mismatches between high levels of divergent thinking and constrained information. Business owners high in divergent thinking could be made aware of the different sources of information that provide diverse information useful for opportunity identification (cf. Hills and Shrader, 1998, Kaish and Gilad, 1991 and Ucbasaran et al., 2008). Furthermore, business owners/managers have to come up with original business ideas to stimulate venture growth. Our results suggest that ordinary ideas, for example, by copying or imitating ideas from competitors, are not sustainable sources for venture growth. Particularly in Uganda, where most of the entrepreneurs indicate that their business ideas are based on existing products or services (Walter et al., 2005), current and future business owners/managers should be educated to strive for nonstandard, novel, and extraordinary business ideas.