Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition and Business Ideation from a Cognitive Perspective

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2015 until July 2018 (finished)


Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



The recognition of entrepreneurial opportunities is impetus for any entrepreneurial action, and thus builds the basis for entrepreneurial success. In this context, entrepreneurial opportunities represent situations, where new means-ends frameworks, e.g. game-changing business models, can emerge (Eckhardt & Shane, 2003).

The research project deals with the question of how entrepreneurial opportunities are recognized and exploited by developing innovative business ideas and business models. In particular the aim is to clarify, how the "processes" of opportunity recognition and business ideation can be facilitated on an individual and organizational level.

It is postulated that the way of thinking is a pivotal aspect of opportunity recognition and business ideation. The theoretical foundation is rooted in two sub-disciplines of entrepreneurship research, "opportunity recognition" and "entrepreneurial cognition". Several cognitive explanation attempts have emerged, such as the entrepreneurial alertness schema (Gaglio & Katz, 2001) or the ability to recognize patterns (Baron, 2006).

The research project is built upon these findings and will examine which cognitive approaches are suitable to address the research problem by means of a mixed-methods research design.


Business ideation, Entrepreneurial opportunity, Opportunity exploitation, Business model innovation, Opportunity recognition


  • Zagorac-Uremovic, Z., Palmer, C., Marxt, C., & Kraus, S. (2018). Kognitive Prozesse der Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition: Eine Literaturanalyse. Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship, 66(3), 185-210. (VHB_3: C)