Title: No man lives on an island: habitual agency and complexity in entrepreneurial decision-making

Authors: Desmond Ng; Harvey James

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2134, USA ' Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Abstract: An entrepreneur's creation of value and moral leadership is primarily an individualised phenomenon. The objective of this study is to develop a socio-cognitive model where an entrepreneur's enactment of valuable opportunities and a moral awareness for others operate within a complex social setting. We develop a 'practiced' concept of 'habitual agency' where an entrepreneur enacts tightly coupled stakeholder exchanges that confirm an entrepreneur's asymmetric advantage. This habitual agency seeks not only to reduce the 'causal ambiguities' surrounding complex stakeholder exchanges, but also to repeatedly apply a generalised moral standard - golden rule - to an entrepreneur's tightly coupled exchange partners. This socio-cognitive explanation of entrepreneurship appeals to the holistic and interdependent tenets of complex systems where entrepreneurship cannot be examined in isolation of the complexities of their social realities. The implications and contributions of this socio-cognitive approach to entrepreneurship and complexity research are also highlighted.

Keywords: habitual agency; entrepreneurial ethics; complex interactions; stakeholders; complexity entrepreneurial decision making; entrepreneurship; value creation; moral leadership; socio-cognitive models.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCLM.2016.080312

International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2016 Vol.3 No.3, pp.244 - 259

Received: 01 Jul 2015
Accepted: 15 Oct 2015

Published online: 10 Nov 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article