Entrepreneurship: The Way Ahead

By Harold P. Welsch | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

G.T. Lumpkin
University of Illinois at Chicago

Gerald E. Hills
University of Illinois at Chicago

Rodney C. Shrader
University of Illinois at Chicago


OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION

Introduction

OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION (OpR) is a vitally important area of entrepreneurship research. This is evidenced by a frequently cited definition of an entrepreneur as someone "who perceives an opportunity and creates an organization to pursue it" (Bygrave and Hofer 1991:14). A recent Academy of Management Review article also confirmed this when it stated, "We define the field of entrepreneurship as the scholarly examination of how, by whom, and with what effects opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated, and exploited" (Shane and Venkataraman 2000:218).

Until recently, remarkably little research has been done on the topic of opportunity recognition. Fortunately, significant contributions have been made in conceptualizing the phenomenon, and empirical studies have begun to generate new knowledge. This chapter endeavors to review several recent contributions to the opportunity literature and present a model of OpR, then to report on two studies of OpR, and, finally, to discuss implications of OpR for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education.

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