Title: Only a symptom of opportunity? Investigating entrepreneurial incongruity through humour science

Authors: Chihmao Hsieh

Addresses: Yonsei University, UIC 406 Veritas Hall C, Songdogwakak-ro 85, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon-City, 406-840, South Korea

Abstract: Instead of treating opportunity as entrepreneurship's molecular unit of analysis, this paper offers a new theoretical perspective by placing the burden on the entrepreneur to verify the presence of incongruity. However, how can we better make sense of the relationship between incongruity and entrepreneurial opportunity? I draw insight from research on the science of humour. First, the more phenomena antecedent or consequent to the incongruity are identified, the more likely the entrepreneurial problem or inventive solution emerges, respectively. Framing incongruity as part of the problem versus a solution becomes pivotal to opportunity discovery processes. Thus, besides Drucker's conceptualisation of incongruity as a symptom of opportunity, it may also serve as a precursor. 'Cognitive congruency' furthermore suggests that moderately complex incongruity resolutions are most likely to maximise conjoint probability of comprehension and appreciation of an opportunity, as a step towards entrepreneurial action. Errors or incongruities emerge as entrepreneurs make overly creative resolutions to prior incongruity.

Keywords: innovation; error; play; bisociation; creation; emotion; nonsense; entrepreneurial incongruity; humour science; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial opportunity; cognitive congruency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2015.073646

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.341 - 369

Accepted: 16 Sep 2014
Published online: 15 Dec 2015 *

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