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Hoyte, Cherisse Asha Shinelle (2015)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects:
This thesis explores how entrepreneurial actors make sense of the entrepreneurial process as they transition from idea to enterprise. To explore this process, the thesis analyses the sensemaking and sensegiving processes experienced by prospective student entrepreneurs in a university incubator. Through addressing the following research question: “How do early-stage entrepreneurial actors make sense of the entrepreneurial process as they transition from having an idea to deciding to exploit it?”, this study explains how entrepreneurial actors transition from idea conceptualization to entrepreneurial opportunity exploitation and delineates their transition paths.\ud \ud Using an interpretive multiple-case research design (Yin, 2009; Eisenhardt, 1989), the sensemaking and sensegiving processes involved in the transition from idea conceptualization to opportunity exploitation is investigated by following ten early-stage entrepreneurial actors in the process of shaping and developing opportunity ideas into entrepreneurial opportunities. Methods of analysis include case studies of each venture idea, field observations, direct interviews, construction of time-lines and inductive development of theory through a combination of the sensemaking framework and stages of the entrepreneurial process.\ud \ud In this thesis, two important theoretical contributions are made; first, the sensemaking perspective is established as a theoretical approach for understanding how the entrepreneurial process unfolds over time and second, new insight is offered concerning the ‘black box’ that exists between idea conceptualization and opportunity exploitation. This is demonstrated through the identification and explanation of the mechanisms that enable entrepreneurial actors to make sense of opportunities as they transition from idea to exploitation. There are also practical contributions for academic managers charged with improving entrepreneurship education and those involved with the commercialization of research generated within a university setting.

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