When discussing entrepreneurial opportunities, researchers disagree on whether or not the opportunities are already out there waiting to be discovered, or created by the entrepreneur instead.
A new study conducted by Dr.
Eric Tsang, professor of global strategy in the Naveen Jindal School of
Management at the University of Texas at Dallas, has expressed the possibility
that there is a third option in this argument.
“We argue that entrepreneurial opportunities do not really
exist objectively like a piece of lost luggage, as proposed by the discovery
approach,” Tsang said. “Our argument is that an entrepreneurial opportunity is
more like an apple seed. That seed has the potential to grow into an apple tree
(i.e., the potential is actualized), but it’s not guaranteed. That potential
Tsang recently had his paper, which lays out how philosophy
can solve practical problems, published by the Academy of Management Review.
“We are proposing that an entrepreneurial opportunity exists
objectively, but that does not guarantee that if you identify it and try to
exploit it, you’ll turn the opportunity into profits,” Tsang said. “You have to
do it right -- and often you have to put in the creative effort to make your
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