Inspired or Foolhardy:Sensemaking Confidence and Entrepreneurs' Decision-Making

Cunningham, James and Anderson, Alistair (2018) Inspired or Foolhardy:Sensemaking Confidence and Entrepreneurs' Decision-Making. Group Decision and Negotiation, 27 (3). ISSN 0926-2644

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of confidence in how both new and experienced entrepreneurs interpret and make sense of their business environment to inform decision-making. We illustrate our conceptual arguments with descriptive results from a large-scale (n = 6289) survey on entrepreneurs' perception of business performance and their decisions taken at a time of uncertainty in an economic downturn. Quantitative findings are stratified along experiential lines to explore heterogeneity in entrepreneurial decision-making and directly inform our conceptual arguments, while qualitative data from open questions are used to explain the role of confidence. Newer entrepreneurs are found to be more optimistic in the face of environmental risk, which impacts on their decision-making and innovative capabilities. However, the more experienced entrepreneurs warily maintain margin and restructure to adapt to environmental changes. Instead of looking directly at the confidence of individuals, we show how confidence impacts sensemaking, and ultimately, decision-making. These insights inform research on the behaviour of novice and experienced entrepreneurs in relation to innovative business activities. Specifically, blanket assumptions on the role of confidence may be misplaced as its impact changes with experience to alter how entrepreneurs make sense of their environment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Group Decision and Negotiation
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1405
Subjects:
ID Code: 134798
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 22 Jun 2019 09:19
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 04:50
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/134798

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