Understanding the Roles of Effectuation and Bricolage in the Opportunity Creation Framework

Samuel Chinyoka


The process of entrepreneurship is identifying and exploiting opportunities. Entrepreneurial action can also result in forming, rather than merely encountering opportunities. Researchers, like Alvarez and Barney (2007), also distinguish two approaches to entrepreneurial action, discovery and creation. In opportunity creation, opportunities for entrepreneurial profit are formed endogenously through action.

Effectuation processes focus on what can be done, given the capacity to influence and means at hand, to move toward a future endpoint. Effectuation was developed in the context of entrepreneurship and it assumes that an opportunity may arise through control-based strategies.

Bricolage was initially described by Levi-Strauss (1967) as ‘making do with what’s on hand’. This was extended by Baker and Nelson (2005) and applied to the process of value creation. They observed that some entrepreneurs prefer to engage in a process of “making do by applying combinations of resources at hand to new problems and opportunities”.

These are new concepts to most entrepreneurship researchers, yet extremely useful in the understanding of opportunity creation. This conceptual paper will assist in the understanding of these concepts, and clarify the roles of effectuation and bricolage in the opportunity creation framework. A discussion section should attempt to bring the concepts to reality by highlighting realistic examples.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20849/abr.v5i1.707


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