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Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise (New Horizons in Entrepreneurship)
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm halfway though this book it's opening up my mind to the way good entrepreneurship really works. I did not use much of what I learned in my MS & MBA when I started my ventures, and I always thought I was doing something wrong. Not so. There is an entirely different way that successful entrepreneurs work than the formal approach we are taught in business school and corporate management training programs. This is absolutely required reading for anyone formally trained in business/management to be able to "unlearn" some paralyzing principles and use the classical vs effectual modes of operation as needed.
At least one star needs to be deducted because of unnecessary complexity. The author did a terrible job simplifying her wonderful research into an accessible book for the masses. It was written for academics with advanced degrees, and those of us on the front lines have to wade through pages of unnecessary sidebars, opaque references to research no one will have read, and forays of mental masturbation in order to extract the nuggets, as valuable as they are. This has to be the slowest voluntary read that I've ever endured. It's frustrating because anyone can see how 5 pages could be reduced to a paragraph, or at least made more clear. Crack the cover if you can and you'll see. I hope the author will develop a thinner version with the help of a mainstream writer. If it was even at the level of writing of the Economist magazine her work could have a far wider reach and benefit.
You'll get 50% of the book's insights by watching the author's interview videos in about 2% of the time.Read more ›
Make no mistake about it, this book is NOT casual reading. Nor is it a textbook or practical guide to building an entrepreneurial venture. It is an academic treatise that explains many years of research, including the author's initial interest and rationale for pursuing this line of research, historical perspectives, design of the studies, interpretation of the data, and ultimately her final observations about how expert entrepreneurs (EEs) behave. For example:
*EEs start with a given set of means, rather than a predetermined goal, allowing opportunities to emerge
*EEs focus on spending what they can afford to lose, rather than seeking to optimize financial returns
*EEs don't think about competition; instead they work with customers and partners to fabricate a market
There's a tremendous amount of detail and information in the book that discusses how expert entrepreneurs behave.Read more ›
Effectual thinking was identified by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy when she interviewed highly successful entrepreneurs for her doctoral dissertation, but she clearly states that this way of thinking can be applied far more widely than simply in commercial enterprise.
While I do teach young people about creativity and innovation, I am not a scholar but more of a practitioner. Nor am I a psychologist, so reading this book is challenging in places yet was well worth my effort.
As you probably see from the five-star rating, I recommend this book highly, especially if you want to learn much about how humans can innovate and change lives for the better. I predict that if any reader is an effectual thinker the book will speak to her or him on a personal level.
The Mark E. Johnston Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies
Manchester University, Indiana, US
A must read for researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators alike.