Effectuation, Learning Organization and Human Resources

Saras Sarasvathy
Marina Stanić
[DREAM] Doctoral Retreat on Entrepreneurship As “Making” – Effectual Entrepreneurship is based on the ideas of Professor Saras Sarasvathy, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia and her collaborators. This course is organized around understanding and developing key themes from the theory of effectuation, and applying those themes to the phenomenon of entrepreneurship.

Background for DREAM
Entrepreneurship research is a relatively young discipline that has until recently been focused on the recognition and discovery of opportunities.  As it grows up and engages in a more serious conversation with the history of ideas, an additional exciting agenda might consist in researching entrepreneurship not only as finding but also as ‘making’ new opportunities, firms, markets and institutions.   Intellectual inspiration for this agenda comes from works such as Herbert Simon’s Sciences of the Artificial, Nelson Goodman’s Ways of Worldmaking, and James Buchanan and Victor Vanberg’s Market as a Creative Process.

The DREAM Philosophy
DREAM is designed for both researchers and educators who care about the rigorous intellectual aspects of studying and teaching entrepreneurship.  Research for DREAMers spans everything from publications in top-tier journals to developing your own research agenda at every level of what you do, be it teaching, writing for practitioners and policymakers are for deepening your own intellectual understanding of what you do.

The DREAM Agenda
Through DREAM we will think through and map the possibilities for an agenda for entrepreneurship research that relaxes the assumption that most key variables in our models are exogenous to the decision process; that outcomes are largely determined through pre-existing stable relationships between those variables; and that we are caught in a strict dichotomous choice between micro and macro levels of analysis.  Note that DREAM will touch upon teaching effectuation as well as learning to understand important intellectual concepts related to it.

Specific Objectives of DREAM: To understand the importance of combining rigor with relevance in research, whether the research is aimed at publishing in a top-tier peer-reviewed journal or whether it is meant for more actionable purposes such as policy and pedagogy.  Also,

  • To craft interesting questions that are researchable and worth researching
  • To identify the basics of good research designed to address those questions
  • To develop a first-hand feel for our research process – fun, flair and ferocity combined!
  • To identify and design opportunities for research within the classes you teach