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Effectual Entrepreneurship Paperback – December 23, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0415586443 ISBN-10: 0415586445 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


GOLD MEDAL WINNER in the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards

SHORTLISTED in the textbook category for the Chartered Management Institute's Book of the Year Prize, 2011-12

'Entrepreneurship is the most powerful tool we have for economic and social value creation and this book is destined to be recognized as the secret weapon all entrepreneurship educators have been waiting for! An accessible and comprehensive guide for all who aspire to both make and find opportunities. Bravo!' - Len Schlesinger, President, Babson College, USA

'Both in form and content, this expansive volume captures the excitement of the entrepreneurial enterprise and the opportunities and challenges presented at each development cycle. Written by European and US academics, this volume is a great starting point to explore notions of innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of undergraduate students; practitioners; general readers.' - S. A. Schulman, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, CHOICE

'A pragmatic, comprehensive book on entrepreneurship that talks about the key aspects and principles for establishing and sustaining a successful business' - Businessworld

'A first-class entrepreneurship education tool' - Georgios A. Panos, Journal of General Management

'This work has been absolutely instrumental in the development and continued growth of our company. We apply the 5 principles of effectuation everyday at Forgetful Gentleman. If you've ever thought of being an entrepreneur, this book will literally change your life.' - Nathan Tan, Co-Founder, Forgetful Gentleman, Darden MBA '09

'In offering a foil to the start-up myth, the authors reach an important conclusion: entrepreneurial success is not innate - it can be taught.  The lessons in this book teach burgeoning entrepreneurs how to abandon doomed business models with ease, how to turn promising ideas into profitable businesses, and how to excel in inevitable uncertainty. There is the entrepreneurial story we know: the garage office, the risk-junkie founders, the midnight stroke of genius, the millions in VC funding and then there's this book, which changes it all.' - Ashleigh Williams, Entrepreneur, MBA graduate, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

‘This is an inspiring and aspiring book based on practical experience, informed by different theories and schools of thought. It is very accessible to a wide range of audiences, from students to intrapreneurs.’ - George Lodorfos, Director of Undergraduate Programmes, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

'Paulo Coelho said "We all know fear. But passion makes us fearless" - the passion can be a hobby, an idea, a desire to change the world or entrepreneurship itself. This book is all about getting you to a point where fear becomes powerless to stop you from acting on your passion.' - Jerry Nemorin, Founder of LendStreet

'An entrepreneurial blueprint for those who don't like blueprints. The authors have distilled the essence of entrepreneurship in a new and vital way. Anyone who wants to know what matters to the global and local economies of tomorrow should read this book.' - Jim Zuffoletti, co-founder of OpenQ

'I consider this book to be the Bible for entrepreneurs. Sarasvathy has taken the mystery out of entrepreneurship and given us a set of principles to follow on our long and winding journey of creating new ventures.' - Brett Nicol, co-founder of Forgetful Gentleman

'An inspiring book!  The principles of 'effectuation' puts in to words what I've been  attempting to do in my company.  The down to earth examples and the road maps encourage me to say 'yes, I can!' Scott Weaver, CEO of CSD Nano, Willamette University MBA

'I knew that effectuation was a game changer as I witnessed my sixty MBA classmates fight and squirm to digest the material; this topic isn't for those wanting some gentle stretching - it's a majestic contrast to the typical MBA way of thinking. As someone who already exhibited entrepreneurial tendency, effectuation provided an indispensable framework that organized and explained my previously chaotic yet intrinsic style of thinking.' - Ian Ayers, Co-Founder of Nova Global, Founder of Happy Rickshaw and CTO of LightWind Energy

About the Author

Stuart Read is a Professor of Marketing at IMD.

Saras Sarasvathy is the Isadore Horween Research Associate Professor at The Darden School, University of Virginia.

Nick Dew is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Robert Wiltbank is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Atkinson School of Management, Willamette University.

Anne-Valérie Ohlsson is an independent writer, researcher, and creator.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415586445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415586443
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philippe Vandenbroeck VINE VOICE on August 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a very worthwhile book that advances a lucid and academically sound perspective on entrepreneurship. It is a view on value creation that goes against the grain of much that is being taught at business schools the world around.

Despite the theory's academic credentials this book is not an abstract treatise (for a more rigorous treatment, see Sarasvathy's Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise (New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series)). It wants to support aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs in building successful ventures. It is very accessibly written with a minimum of jargon. I was surprised and happy to see my 18-year old son pick up this book and read it in just a few sittings. Since it has offered interesting fodder for family table talk.

So what is `effectual entrepreneurship' about? Effectuation is a way of creating a business that is prepared to acknowledge irreducible uncertainty: the market cannot be defined; consumers are not aware of their future preferences; new technologies may emerge; available data are incomplete and conflicting. Acknowledging these constraints means that we can only have modest expectations as regards the usefulness of market research and competitive analysis to lead us to new opportunities. So, rather than the prevailing `search and select' paradigm (identify underserved markets, build business case, implement), a `create and transform' approach is in order.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Ahlstrom on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Effectual Entrepreneurship is an excellent and very important book on entrepreneurship and innovation. It gives a lot of practical detail on how entrepreneurship occurs and how successful entrepreneurs actually work. The detail included is very important because so many books in the past have been lacking in their explanation of how entrepreneurs actually work. This book is quite consistent with other recent work on strategic intuition (William Duggan) and Peter Sims (Little Bets). Readers interested in entrepreneurship and innovation would benefit from reading these three books together. And although this is the case, Effectual Entrepreneurship has a great deal of new insight itself; drawing on extensive and in-depth research with entrepreneurs. Do not miss this fine book by Professor Sarasvathy and her colleagues; it is excellent and indispensable.
--David Ahlstrom, Professor of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chicago Mick on November 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent textbook. I am an Assistant Professor in entrepreneurship and I made the switch to this book recently from more traditional textbooks for several reasons. Most importantly, I feel this book really captures the essence of most entrepreneurial activity and therefore is of most use to the majority of students taking an entrepreneurship course. In addition, my experience as an entrepreneurship instructor is that there is considerable redundancy across the curricula. Some repetition is good, but I don't know how many times a student has to write a feasibility study or a business plan (for a business they are never really going to launch). This book is not that. I feel it's a great complement to more traditional approaches. My one caveat is this book does assume the student is familiar with key business concepts (like sales, profits, break-even, valuation, etc), so if your students lack that background you will probably need to account for that in some other way.
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