Entrepreneurial cognition: cognitive elements that influence the exploration of opportunities

Gustavo Behling, Fernando César Lenzi

Abstract


Objective: To present a review of the literature on the cognitive elements that influence the mental models of entrepreneurs in the exploration of opportunities.

Methodology / approach: The methodological procedures used in this bibliographic research were divided into: 1. Formulation of research question, 2. Location of studies, 3. Selection and evaluation of studies, 4. Analysis and synthesis and, 5. Report of results. The search for the studies resulted in 87 identified articles. In the selection and evaluation stage, 36 articles were excluded due to the lack of adherence to the intended theme. With 51 articles selected, a careful reading of the documents was carried out. Finally, the authors achieved the review and analysis presented in the results.

Originality / Relevance: There is a lack of studies on how variations in cognitive elements shape the perceptions of entrepreneurs about opportunities. The study evidences the diversity of lacks in entrepreneurial cognition field of studies.

Main results: The paper presents ten cognitive characteristics of entrepreneurs who support their mental models and influence the process of exploring opportunities. From the analyzes of these characteristics, eight theoretical propositions are suggested to be tested empirically that can generate a better understanding on the mental models of entrepreneurs.

Theoretical / methodological contributions: The review of literature presented, and to a greater degree the propositions raised from this, reveal a series of research gaps and points that need to be deepened in empirical studies to develop a better understanding about how cognitive characteristics interfere in the identification and exploration of entrepreneurial opportunities.


Keywords


Entrepreneurial opportunities; Entrepreneurial cognition; Mental models.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5585/riae.v19i1.17102

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