Does Expertise Matter in an Ever-Changing and Uncertain Environment? A Study of the Entrepreneurial Process of Serial and Novice Entrepreneurs


  • Rodney D'Souza University of Louisville
  • Bruce Kemelgor University of Louisville


Aldrich, H. (1999). Organizations Evolving. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, London.

Abelson, R.P. & Black, J.B. (1986). Introduction. In: J.A. Galambos, R.P. Abelson, and J.B. Black (Eds.), Knowledge Structures. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baron, R. (1998). Cognitive mechanisms in entrepreneurship: Why and when entrepreneurs think differently from other people. Journal of Business Venturing, 13 (4): 275-294.

Baron, R. & Henry, R.A. (2006). Why do some entrepreneurs achieve extraordinary success? Insights from cognitive science research on exceptional performance. Paper presented at the Babson Research Conference, Bloomington, IN.

Baron, R.A. & Markman, G.D. (2003). Beyond social capital: The role of entrepreneurs' social competence in their financial success. Journal of Business Venturing, 18, 41-60.

Bhide, A. (1999). The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Birley, S. (1985). The role of networks in the entrepreneurial process. Journal of Business Venturing, 1, 107-117

Borgatta, E.F. & Bohrnstedt, G.W. (1980). Level of measurement: once over again. Sociological Methods and Research, 9(2), 147-160.

Burt, R.S. (1992). Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Chandler, G. (1996). Business similarity as a moderator of the relationship between pre-ownership experience and venture performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 20(1), 51-65.

Chase, W.G., & Ericsson, K.A. (1982). Skill and working memory. In: Bower, G.H. (Ed.). The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 16. Academic Press, New York.

Chen, C., Greene, P., & Crick, A. (1998). Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers? Journal of Business Venturing, 13, 295-316.

Chase, W. G., & Simon, H. A.(1973). The mind's eye in chess. In: Chase W.G. (Ed.). Visual Information Processing. Academic Press, New York.

Cooper, A. (1993). Challenges in predicting new firm performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 8(3), 241-253.

Craik, F.I. & Lockhart, R.S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-681.

Davidsson, P. (2004). Researching Entrepreneurship. New York: Springer.

Davis, M. S. (1971). That's Interesting! Philosophy of Social Science, 1, 309- 344.

De Carolis, D. & Saparito, P. (2006). Social capital, cognition and entrepreneurial opportunities: A theoretical framework. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41-56.

Dillman, D. A. (2000). Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Methods. Second edition. New York: Wiley.

Dixit, A. K. & Pindyck, R. S. (1994). Investment under uncertainty. Princeton UP, Princeton.

Dyer Jr., W.G. (1994). Toward a theory of entrepreneurial careers. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 19(2), 7-22.

Ericsson, K.A. & Staszewski, J.J. (1989). Skilled memory and expertise: mechanisms of exceptional performance. In: Klahr, D., Kotovsky, K. (Eds.). Complex Information Processing: The Impact of Herbert A. Simon. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

Erikson, T. (2002). Entrepreneurial capital: The emerging organization's most important asset. Journal of Business Venturing, 17(3), 275-290.

Fiet, J. (1996). The informational basis of entrepreneurial discovery. Small Business Economics, 8, 419-430.

Fiet, J. (2000). Entrepreneurial competence as knowledge. Presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Toronto, Canada.

Fiet, J. (2002). The Systematic Search for Entrepreneurial Discoveries. Quorum Books, Westport CT.

Fisk, S.T. & Taylor, S.E. (1984). Social Cognition, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Gartner, W. (1985). A conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 696-706.

Gartner, W. B. (1988). Who is an entrepreneur? is the wrong question. American Journal of Small Business, 12, 11-32.

Gartner, W., & Brush, C.B. (1999). Entrepreneurship as organizing: Emergence, newness and transformation. Presented at the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division Doctoral Consortium, Chicago.

Gobet, F. & Simon, H.A. (1996). Templates in chess memory: A mechanism for recalling several boards. Cognitive Psychology, 31, 1- 40.

Greve, A. & Salaff, J. (2003). Social networks and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 28(1): 1-22.

Gustavsson, V. (2004). Entrepreneurial Decision-Making. Doctoral dissertation, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping.

Hair, J., Anderson, R., Tatham R., & Black, W. (2005). Multivariate Data Analysis (5th ed.). Singapore: Pearson Education.

Hansen, E.L. (1995). Entrepreneurial networks and new organizational growth. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 19(4), 7-19.

Helfat, C.E., (2000). Guest editor's introduction to the special issue: The evolution of firm capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 21(10/11), 955.

Herron, L. & Sapienza, H.J (1992). The entrepreneur and the initiation of new venture launch activities. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 17(1), 49-55.

Hills, G., Lumpkin, G.T., & Singh, R.P. (1997). Opportunity recognition: Perceptions and behaviors of entrepreneurs. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Wellesley, MA: Babson College, 203-218.

Hinsley, D.A., Hayes, J.R., & Simon, H.A. (1977). From words to equations: meaning and representation in algebra word problems. In: Just, M.A., Carpenter, P.A. (Eds.). Cognitive Processes in Comprehension, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hite, J., & Hesterly, W.S. (2001). The evolution of firm networks: From emergence to early growth of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 22, 275-286.

Holbrook, D., Cohen, W.M., Hounshell, D.A., & Klepper, S. (2000). The nature, sources, and consequences of firm differences in the early history of the semiconductor industry. Strategic Management Journal, 21(10/11), 1017.

Jones, T. M. (1995). Instrumental stakeholder theory: A synthesis of ethics and economics. Academy of Management Review, 20(2), 404- 437.

Kahneman, D. & Lovallo, D. (1993). Timid choices and bold forecasts. A cognitive perspective on risk taking. Management Science, 39, 17-31.

Kemelgor, B., Henley, G., & D'Souza R. (2005). The dynamics of entrepreneurial entry and firm performance of first career and second career entrepreneurs as mediated by prior knowledge. Presented at BABSON Entrepreneurship Research Conference Boston MA.

Korunka, C., Frank, H., Lueger, M., & Mugler, J. (2003). The entrepreneurial personality in the context of resources, environment, and the startup process: A configurational approach. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(1), 23-42.

Larkin, J.H., Mc Dermott, J., Simon, D.P. & Simon, H.A. (1980). Expert and novice performance in solving physics problems. Science, 208, 1335-1342.

Larson, A.L. & Starr, J.A. (1993). A network model of organizational formation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 17(2): 5-15.

MacMillan, I.L., Siegel, R., & Narasimha, P.N. (1985). Criteria used by venture capitalists to evaluate new venture proposals. Journal of Business Venturing, 1(2), 119- 128.

MacMillan, I.L., Zemann, L., & Narasimha, P.N. (1987). Criteria distinguishing successful from unsuccessful ventures in the venture screening process, Journal of Business Venturing, 2(2): 123-137.

March, J. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2, 71-87.

Michell, J. (1986). Measurement scales and statistics: A clash of paradigms. Psychological Bulletin, 100(3), 398- 407.

Miller, D. (1993). The architecture of simplicity. Academy of Management Review, 18, 116-138.

Mitchell, R. & Chesteen, S. (1995). Enhancing entrepreneurial expertise: Experiential pedagogy and the new venture expert script. Simulation & Gaming, 26(3): 288- 306.

Mitchell, R.K., Smith, B., Seawright, K.W., & Morse, E.A. (2000). Crosscultural cognitions and the venture creation decision. Academy of Management Journal, 43(5): 974- 993.

Mitchell, R.K. (2005). Tuning up the value creation engine: On the road to excellence in International Entrepreneurship Education. In: J.A. Katz & D.A. Shepherd (Eds.), Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth: Vol. 8. Cognitive approaches to entrepreneurship research (pp. 185- 248). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Mitchell, R. K., Busenitz, L. W., Bird, B., Gaglio, C. M., McMullen, J. S., Morse, E. A., & Smith, J. B. (2007). The Central Question in Entrepreneurial Cognition Research 2007. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(1), 1-27

Nebus, J. (2006). Building Collegial Information Networks: A Theory of Advice Network Generation. Academy of Management Review, 31(3), 615-637.

Neisser, U. (1976). Cognitive Psychology. New York: Appleton-Century- Croft.

Nisbett, R., & Ross, L. (1980). Human Inference, Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Ronstadt, R. (1988). The corridor principle. Journal of Business Venturing, 3(1), 31-40.

Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R.L. (1991). Essentials of Behavioral Research: Methods and Data Analysis (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Rowley, T.J. (1997). Moving beyond dyadic ties: A network theory of stakeholder influence, Academy of Management Review, 22(4): 887- 910.

Shane, S. (2000). Prior Knowledge and the Discovery of Entrepreneurial Opportunities. Organization Science, 11(4), 448-470.

Shepherd, D.A. (1999). Venture capitalists' assessment of new venture survival. Management Science, 45(5), 621- 632.

Simon, H.A. (1989). Models of Thought. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Simon, M. & Houghton, S. (2000). Cognitive biases, risk perception, and venture formation: How individuals decide to start companies. Journal of Business Venturing, 15 (2), 113-135.

Singh, G. & DeNoble, A. (2003). Early retirees as the next generation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(3), 207-226.

Ucbasaran, D., Westhead, P., & Wright, M. (2001). The focus of entrepreneurship research: Contextual and process issues. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 25(4), 57-80.

Uzzi, B. (1996). The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect. American Sociological Review, 61: 674-698.

Vandekerchhove, W. & Dentchev, N.A. (2005). A network perspective on stakeholder management: Facilitating entrepreneurs in the discovery of opportunities. Journal of Business Ethics, 60, 221-232.

Venkataraman, S. (1997). The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research: an editor's perspective. In: Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth. J. Katz, R. Brockhaus (Eds.). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Walsh J., P. & Charalambides, L., C. (1990). Individual and social origins of belief structure change. Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 517-532.

Walsh, J.P. (1995). Managerial and organizational cognition: Notes from a trip down memory lane. Organizational Science, 6(3), 280- 321.

Westhead, P. & Birley, S. (1993). A comparison of new business established by 'novice' and 'habitual' founders in Great Britain. International Small Business Journal, 12(1):38.

Westhead, P. & Wright M. (1998). Novice, portfolio, and serial founders: Are they different? Journal of Business Venturing, 13, 173-204.

Westhead, P., Ucbasaran, D., & Wright, M. (2005). Decisions, actions, and performance: Do novice, serial, and portfolio entrepreneurs differ? Journal of Small Business Management, 43(4), 393-417.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Bruce Kemelgor, University of Louisville

This study contributes to the literature on serial and novice entrepreneurs by focusing on the process of entrepreneurship and the role of different knowledge structures in this process. We use theories from cognitive psychology that relate to experts and novices, and their use of prior knowledge in the creation of knowledge structures. Using a sample of 121 novice and serial entrepreneurs, we find that knowledge structures, as a function of prior experience in running a business venture, do not play a role in differentiating these entrepreneurs regarding the process of entrepreneurship. The implications and limitations of the study are discussed.