Title: 'That seems to be promising!' – Predicting opportunity evaluation by means of situational characteristics and individual cognitions

Authors: Matthias Spoerrle, Nicola Breugst, Isabell Welpe

Addresses: Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Department of Psychology, Leopoldstr. 13, 80802 Munchen, Germany. ' Max Planck Institute of Economics, Kahlaische Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany. ' Max Planck Institute of Economics; Technical University of Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany

Abstract: In an experimental scenario study, we tested the influence of situational characteristics and individuals| cognitive appraisal on the entrepreneurial evaluation of the situation. We manipulated potential profit margin, time to profit, personal investment and probability of success on two levels each, thus, resulting in a fully crossed 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 design with independent measures. Moreover, we assessed two pivotal cognitive appraisals of the situation, namely primary appraisal (i.e., the extent to which the event is relevant for and in accordance with personal goals) and secondary appraisal (i.e., the extent to which the individual perceives himself to be able to master a potential failure within the situation). Multiple regression results indicated a significant influence of profit margin and probability of success of a given opportunity on entrepreneurial evaluation. Moreover, (situation-specific) primary and secondary appraisal emerged as incrementally significant predictors. Results indicate additive predictive value of situational variables and psychological indicators of person-situation-fit.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; opportunity evaluation; situational characteristics; primary appraisal; cognitions; secondary appraisal; motive relevance; motive congruence; life goals; profit; time to profit; personal investment; probability of success; entrepreneurial evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2009.023819

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2009 Vol.1 No.1, pp.41 - 56

Published online: 13 Mar 2009 *

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