Effectuation vs. Causation: Can established firms use Start-Up Decision-Making Principles to stay innovative?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

View graph of relations

More and more, established companies try to cooperate with start-ups, build their own, or try to imitate their mindsets. But, do they make decisions like expert entrepreneurs?
Effectuation theory describes entrepreneurial decision-making, it has been popular in entrepreneurship research for the last two decades, but still underexplored in contexts such as established company’s decision-making. Therefore, this study answers the question of which factors affect the use of effectuation in established companies. Furthermore, the current use of the start-up decision-making principle is investigated.
The research results show a higher use of effectuation over causation (alternative
mechanism) in established companies. However, decision-making principles like
“Mean orientation” and “Contingency orientation” are still dominated by causation.
Identified factors for implementing effectuation in established companies are divided into six categories. In particular, effectuation requires a high flexibility and willingness to change goals. Using the already available means and resources of a company to pursue new goals, is another argument for using effectuation. Additionally, a more open and transparent culture, encouraging the identification and admittance of mistakes, also supports the use of effectuation. Based on this research, established companies should be able to understand better on which factors the implementation of effectuation depends and where it makes sense to use it.
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2019