Improving Entrepreneurial Cognition in Entrepreneurship Education

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2019 until July 2022 (finished)


Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research

Entrepreneurial Learning, Teamlearning


Psychology-based research on entrepreneurship investigates personal characteristics as distinguishing factor of entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Over the last decades, the focus of inquiry shifted from stable personality traits to a better understanding of malleable entrepreneurial cognition. Thereby one focus is how a (nascent) entrepreneurs' employment of mental models -responsible for the connection of previously unconnected information - leads to the identification, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how such elements of the entrepreneurial cognition shape intentions and entrepreneurial behavior of (nascent) entrepreneurs. Findings will enhance the general understanding of cognitive concepts shaping intention and early-phase entrepreneurial behavior. Three independent quantitative research projects will contribute to answer the question of how individual cognition shape entrepreneurial intention and behavior? Each such project is innovative and (will) add to the progress in the field of inquiry. The overall aim is twofold. First, a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial cognition will valuable contribute to the rather young field of research and hence, to the question how entrepreneurs differ from non-entrepreneurs. Second, a rigor integration of knowledge from entrepreneurial cognition research to effective entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship education aims to grow entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and behavior and therefore serves as an important bridge from basic to applied knowledge.


Self-leadership, Entrepreneurial Education, Entrepreneurial cognition, Opportunity recognition